Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 11-05-039.
Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: The Washington state parks and recreation commission (parks) is proposing rules that would allow and regulate small-scale beach prospecting and placer mining in the Seashore Conservation Area.
Hearing Location(s): Washington State Parks, Eastern Region Office, 270 Ninth Street N.E., Suite 200, East Wenatchee, WA 98802, on August 11, 2011, at 10:00 a.m.
Date of Intended Adoption: August 22, 2001 .
Submit Written Comments to: Lisa Lantz, 1111 Israel Road, Olympia, WA 98504, e-mail email@example.com, fax (360) 586-4272, by August 5, 2011.
Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Al Wolslegel at (360) 902-8659, by August 5, 2011. Persons with hearing loss, call 711 for Washington relay service. Persons with a speech disability, call 877-833-6341.
Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: During its 2008 session, the Washington state legislature established a two-year pilot program to examine the impacts of small scale mineral prospecting on coastal areas. The Washington department of fish and wildlife (WDFW) was directed to monitor the prospecting and mining activities through its permit authority. Parks and WDFW reported their findings and recommendations on the activity to the legislature in December 2010. The report did not identify any significant user conflicts or natural resource impacts.
Based on the results of the pilot, parks was open to continuing to allow the activity. However, a rule change was needed. Under RCW 79A.05.165, people are prohibited from removing natural objects from any park or parkway, unless specifically allowed by the commission by rule. The pilot project legislation set up a short-term exemption to this statute, which expired on December 1, 2010. In order to continue to allow the activity, the legislature would need to make a permanent statutory change or the commission would need to allow the activity by rule. The proposed rule change will address this issue.
Reasons Supporting Proposal: The rule change was requested and supported by the regulated entities (beach prospectors and miners). A pilot program using the same equipment as allowed in the proposed rules has been completed. No significant impacts to natural and/or recreational resources were identified in the pilot.
Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 79A.05.030.
Statute Being Implemented: RCW 79A.05.165 and 79A.05.615.
Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.
Name of Proponent: Washington state parks and recreation commission, governmental.
Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting and Implementation: Lisa Lantz, S.W. Region Headquarters, Olympia, (360) 725-9777; and Enforcement: Robert Ingram, Parks Headquarters, Olympia, (360) 902-8615.
No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. These proposed rule changes are exempt from the small business economic impact statement (SBEIS) because they do not impose additional costs on businesses. Therefore, costs are determined to be below the minor cost threshold definition in RCW 19.85.020(2). RCW 19.85.030 exempts the agency from the requirement to prepare an SBEIS when costs are minor.
A cost-benefit analysis is not required under RCW 34.05.328. RCW 34.05.328 (5)(a)(i) does not identify the Washington state parks and recreation commission as one of the agencies required to prepare a cost-benefit analysis.
July 5, 2011
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 07-03-121, filed 1/22/07, effective 2/22/07)
WAC 352-37-020 Definitions. Whenever used in this chapter the following terms shall have the meanings herein defined unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
"Aggregate" shall mean a mixture of minerals separable by mechanical or physical means.
"Aircraft" shall mean any machine designed to travel through the air, whether heavier or lighter than air; airplane, dirigible, balloon, helicopter, etc. The term aircraft shall not include paraglider or remote controlled aircraft.
"Campfires" shall mean any open flame from a wood source.
"Camping" shall mean erecting a tent or shelter or arranging bedding, or both, or parking a recreation vehicle or other vehicle for the purpose of remaining overnight.
"Commission" shall mean the Washington state parks and recreation commission.
"Concentrate" shall mean the valuable mineral content separated from aggregate.
"Concentrator" shall mean a device used to physically or mechanically separate the valuable mineral content from aggregate.
"Director" shall mean the director of the Washington state parks and recreation commission or the director's designee.
"Driveable beach" shall mean that area of the ocean beaches lying between the upper or landward limit of the hard sand area and the clam beds.
"Dry sand area" shall mean that area lying above and to the landward side of the hard sand area as defined in this section.
"Excavation site" shall mean the pit, furrow, or hole from which aggregate is removed to process and recover minerals or into which wastewater is discharged to settle out sediments.
"Fire" shall mean any open flame from any source or device including, but not limited to, campfires, stoves, candles, torches, barbeques and charcoal.
"Ganged equipment" shall mean two or more pieces of mineral prospecting equipment coupled together to increase efficiency. An example is adding a second sluice to a high-banker.
"Geocache" means geocaches, letterboxes, and related activities. Geocaching is an outdoor treasure hunting game in which participants (called geocachers) use a Global Positioning System receiver or other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers (called "geocaches" or "caches").
"Hand-held mineral prospecting tools" shall mean tools that are held by hand and are not powered by internal combustion, hydraulic, or pneumatics. Examples include metal detectors, shovels, picks, trowels, hammers, pry bars, hand-operated winches, and battery-operated pumps specific to prospecting; and vac-pacs.
"Hard sand area" shall mean that area over which the tide ebbs and flows on a daily basis; and which is sufficiently hard or firm to support the weight of, and to provide unhindered traction for, an ordinary passenger vehicle.
"High-banker" shall mean a stationary concentrator that can be operated outside the wetted perimeter of the body of water from which the water is removed, using water supplied by hand or by pumping. A high-banker consists of a sluice box, hopper, and water supply. Aggregate is supplied to the high-banker by means other than suction dredging. This definition excludes rocker boxes.
"Hovercraft" shall mean a powered vehicle supported by a cushion of air capable of transporting persons.
"Intimidate" means to engage in conduct which would make a reasonable person fearful.
"Long Beach Peninsula" shall mean that area of the ocean beaches as defined in this section lying between Cape Disappointment on the south and Leadbetter Point on the north.
"Mineral prospecting equipment" shall mean any natural or manufactured device, implement, or animal (other than the human body) that can be used in any aspect of prospecting for or recovering minerals.
"Motor vehicle" shall mean every vehicle that is self-propelled. For the purposes of this chapter, a motor vehicle must be approved for highway use in accordance with Title 46 RCW.
"North Beach" shall mean that area of the ocean beaches as defined in this section lying between Damon Point on the south and Cape Flattery on the north.
"Obstruct pedestrian or vehicular traffic" means to walk, stand, sit, lie, or place an object in such a manner as to block passage by another person or a vehicle, or to require another person or a driver of a vehicle to take evasive action to avoid physical contact. Acts authorized as an exercise of one's constitutional right to picket or to legally protest, and acts authorized by a permit issued pursuant to WAC 352-32-165 shall not constitute obstruction of pedestrian or vehicular traffic.
"Ocean beaches" shall mean all lands fronting on the Pacific Ocean between Cape Disappointment and Leadbetter Point; between Toke Point and the south jetty on Point Chehalis; and between Damon Point and the Makah Indian Reservation, and occupying the area between the line of ordinary high tide and the line of extreme low tide, as these lines now are or may hereafter be located, and, where applicable, between the Seashore Conservation Line, as established by survey of the commission and the line of extreme low tide, as these lines now are or may hereafter be located, or as defined in RCW 79A.05.605, provided, that the ocean beaches shall not include any lands within the established boundaries of any Indian reservation.
"Pan" shall mean an open metal or plastic dish that can be operated by hand to separate gold or other minerals from aggregate by washing the aggregate.
"Parasail" shall mean a parachute-type device attached to a rope pulled by a motor vehicle, resulting in the participant being lifted from the ground by the force of the wind.
"Person" shall mean all natural persons, firms, partnerships, corporations, clubs, and all associations or combinations of persons whenever acting for themselves or by an agent, servant, or employee.
"Placer" shall mean a glacial or alluvial deposit of gravel or sand containing eroded particles of minerals.
"Power sluice" shall mean high-banker.
"Power sluice/suction dredge combination" shall mean a machine that can be used as a power sluice, or with minor modifications as a suction dredge.
"Prospecting" shall mean the exploration for minerals and mineral deposits.
"Riffle" shall mean the bottom of a concentrator containing a series of interstices or grooves to catch and retain a mineral such as gold.
"Rocker box" shall mean a nonmotorized concentrator consisting of a hopper attached to a cradle and a sluice box that can be operated with a rocking motion.
"Seashore conservation area" shall mean all lands now or hereafter under state ownership or control as defined in RCW 79A.05.605.
"Sluice" shall mean a trough equipped with riffles across its bottom which can be used to recover gold and other minerals with the use of flowing water.
"South Beach" shall mean that area of the ocean beaches as defined in this section lying between Toke Point on the south and the south jetty on Point Chehalis on the north.
"Spiral wheel" shall mean a hand-operated or battery-powered rotating pan that is used to recover gold and minerals with the use of water.
"Suction dredge" shall mean a machine that is used to move submerged aggregate via hydraulic suction. Aggregate is processed through an attached sluice box for the recovery of gold and other minerals.
"Wetted perimeter" shall mean the areas of a watercourse covered with flowing or nonflowing water.
"Wind/sand sailer" shall mean a wheeled, wind-driven recreational conveyance.
[Statutory Authority: Chapter 79A.05 RCW. 07-03-121, § 352-37-020, filed 1/22/07, effective 2/22/07. Statutory Authority: RCW 79A.05.030, 79A.05.035, 79A.05.070, 79A.05.165, 79A.05.605, and 79A.05.610. 05-24-030, § 352-37-020, filed 11/30/05, effective 12/31/05. Statutory Authority: RCW 79A.05.030, 79A.05.035, 79A.05.055, 79A.05.070, and 79A.05.165. 05-01-068, § 352-37-020, filed 12/9/04, effective 1/9/05. Statutory Authority: RCW 43.51.040. 90-07-050, § 352-37-020, filed 3/19/90, effective 4/19/90.]
(2) The director may close specific areas to beach prospecting or placer mining when deemed necessary for wildlife protection or public safety.
(3) Only hand-held mineral prospecting tools and the following mineral prospecting equipment may be used in the seashore conservation area:
(b) Spiral wheels;
(c) Sluices, concentrators, rocker boxes, and high-bankers with riffle areas totaling ten square feet or less, including ganged equipment;
(d) Suction dredges that have suction intake nozzles with inside diameters that should be five inches or less, but shall be no greater than five and one-quarter inches to account for manufacturing tolerances and possible deformation of the nozzle. The inside diameter of the dredge hose attached to the nozzle may be no greater than one inch larger than the suction intake nozzle size;
(e) Power sluice/suction dredge combinations that have riffle areas totaling ten square feet or less, including ganged equipment, suction intake nozzles with inside diameters that should be five inches or less, but shall be no greater than five and one-quarter inches to account for manufacturing tolerances and possible deformation of the nozzle, and pump intake hoses with inside diameters of four inches or less. The inside diameter of the dredge hose attached to the suction intake nozzle may be no greater than one inch larger than the suction intake nozzle size; and
(f) High-bankers and power sluices that have riffle areas totaling ten square feet or less, including ganged equipment, and pump intake hoses with inside diameters of four inches or less.
(4) Upon request, other mineral prospecting equipment may be considered by the commission on a pilot basis.
(5) All trenches, depressions, or holes created in the beach during mining activities must be back-filled before working another excavation site.
(6) Setting up or using mining equipment or conducting mining activities in a manner and/or location that subjects people, personal property, or park resources to injury or damage or impedes traffic on the driveable portion of the beach is prohibited.
(7) A person may possess or transport up to ten gallons of concentrate per day.
(8) Any violation of this section is an infraction under chapter 7.84 RCW.