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Active Mines Disclosure Law (SB 110) – What you need to know!

JCP-LGS protects agents and consumers in active mines disclosure

JCP-LGS and First American NHD provided consultation on Senate Bill 110 to the bill’s author, State Senator Michael J. Rubio, its sponsor, the California Construction and Industrial Materials Association (CalCIMA), and the Counsel of the Assembly Judiciary Committee during the Spring of 2011. The bill’s intent was to mandate the disclosure of nearby mining operations in California real estate transactions. We were asked to review the bill and recommend any key changes to ensure that the NHD industry would be able to provide consumers and real estate agents with accurate disclosure information.

Like a “right to farm” act, SB 110 is a “right to mine” law. It requires that California residents who move adjacent to an active mine operation be notified about the facility’s existence and activities prior to their final purchase, just as prospective buyers now are notified about large-scale agricultural operations. This right to mine bill was unanimously passed by the Legislature and signed by Governor Brown.

The Real Story

SB 110 requires the disclosure of ACTIVE mines. The bill has nothing to do with abandoned mines (see below: Correcting the Misinformation).

There are about 1,000 active mines or aggregate facilities within the state that produce some of the most important materials in California and are used to build everything from homes to roads. SB 110 protects active mining operations from being declared a nuisance when residential development encroaches around them. This bill will preserve jobs by protecting a critical industry in California’s economy.

Starting January 1, 2012, a third-party disclosure provider must disclose whether the property is located within one mile of an active mining operation, according to map coordinate data from the Office of Mine Reclamation.  If a property is within one mile, the NHD report must include a “Notice of Mining Operations” explaining that such mining operations may cause inconveniences.

The changes recommended by FANHD and JCP-LGS strengthen the reliability of the new disclosures and reduce non-disclosure liability for sellers and agents who rely on third-party disclosure experts. The amendments ensure that the one-mile proximity determination will be based on reliable and authoritative mine location information that is uniformly accessible through a regulatory Office of Mine Reclamation database, rather than from county recorder files that are not indexed for this purpose.

Correcting the Misinformation

SB 110 does NOT require the disclosure of abandoned mines. The law does not even mention abandoned mines.

Do not be confused by misleading marketing information. The disclosure of abandoned mines is not required by any statute, rule or regulation. MOST IMPORTANT -- California’s Office of Mine Reclamation specifically warns that its abandoned mines database ”should not be considered authoritative or relied upon…for site-specific uses, including but not limited to the obligations of sellers of real property and their disclosure obligations under California law.”

Maintaining Our Core Values

JCP-LGS will include the Notice of Mining Operations in its NHD report when this new law becomes effective on January 1, 2012. As an accommodation to our clients, we will update your JCP-LGS report at no additional charge upon request if your escrow remains open after the Notice becomes effective. To request a report update, please email our Customer Service Department after December 31, 2011, at JCP-LGS. (Please update your escrow billing information at that time.)

For more information or to schedule an office presentation with your local JCP-LGS Representative, please call 800-748-5233. To order a report, click the ORDER NOW link in the upper right corner of this page.

Thank you for your continued business!