A bill to require the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture to more efficiently develop domestic sources of the minerals and mineral materials of strategic and critical importance to the economic and national security and manufacturing competitiveness of the United States, and for other purposes.

Introduced in Senate
National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act

This bill addresses the mine permitting process.

Under the bill, projects that provide minerals vital to job creation, energy
infrastructure, American economic competitiveness, and national security must be
considered to be "infrastructure projects" as described in Executive Order
13604, entitled "Improving Performance of Federal Permitting and Review of
Infrastructure Projects" dated March 22, 2012.This order directed federal
agencies to significantly reduce the time required to make permitting and review
decisions on infrastructure projects.

The bill sets forth general requirements for an existing mineral exploration or
mine permit application.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM)or the Forest Service shall appoint a project
lead for the mine permitting process to coordinate with other agencies to ensure
that the agencies: minimize delays, set and adhere to timelines for completion
of the permitting process, set clear permitting goals, and track progress
against goals.

The requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969are satisfied
if the BLM or the Forest Service determines that the agency issuing the permit
will address specified factors, such as environmental impact, alternatives to
issuance of the permit, or any irreversible and irretrievable commitment of
resources that would be involved in the proposed action. The time period for
completion of the mine permitting review process shall not exceed 30 months,
except by mutual agreement.

Projects on National Forest System land shall be exempt from regulations that
prohibit timber tree cutting and road construction in areas without roads.

The bill does not apply to oil, gas, and potash leasing and development within
the designated potash areas of Eddy and Lea Counties, New Mexico.



  • Read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

    Jan 12th, 2017
  • Introduced in Senate

    Jan 12th, 2017