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the right of such owner or owners to operate said mine or mines by any other process or method now in use in said State: Provided, That they shall not interfere with the navigability of the aforesaid rivers.
SEC. 11. That the owners of several mining claims situated so as to require a common dumping ground or dam or other restraining works for the débris issuing therefrom in one or more sites may file a joint petition setting forth such facts in addition to the requirements of section 9 hereof; and where the owner of a hydraulic mine or owners of several such mines have and use common dumping sites for impounding débris or as settling reservoirs, which sites are located below the mine of an applicant not entitled to use same, such fact shall also be stated in said petition. Thereupon the same proceedings shall be had as provided for herein.
SEC. 12. A notice specifying briefly the contents of said petition and fixing a time previous to which all proofs are to be submitted shall be published by said commission in some newspaper or newspapers of general circulation in the community interested in the matter set forth therein. If published in a daily paper such publication shall continue for at least 10 days; if in a weekly paper, in at least three issues of the same. Pending publication thereof said commission, or a committee thereof, shall examine the mine and premises described in such petition. On or before the time so fixed all parties interested, either as petitioners or contestants, whether miners or agriculturists, may file affidavits, plans, and maps in support of their respective claims. Further hearing, upon notice to all parties of record, may be granted by the commission when necessary.
SEC. 13. That in case the majority of the members of said commission, within 30 days after the time so fixed, concur in a decision in favor of the petitioner or petitioners, the said commission shall thereupon make an order directing the methods and specifying in detail the manner in which operations shall proceed in such mine or mines; what restraining or impounding works, if facilities therefor can be found, shall be built, and maintained; how and of what material; where to be located; and in general set forth such further requirements and safeguards as will protect the public interests and will prevent injury to the said navigable rivers, and the lands adjacent thereto, with such further conditions and limitations as will observe all the provisions of this act in relation to the working thereof and the payment of taxes on the gross proceeds of the same: Provided, That all expense incurred in complying with said order shall be borne by the owner or owners of such mine or mines. (Amended, 34 Stat. 1001, p. 944.)
SEC. 14. That such petitioner or petitioners must within a reasonable time present plans and specifications of all works required to be built in pursuance of said order for examination, correction, and approval by said commission; and thereupon work may immediately commence thereon under the supervision of said commission or representative thereof attached thereto from said corps of engineers, who shall inspect same from time to time. Upon completion thereof, if found in every respect to meet the requirements of the said order and said approved plans and specifications, permission shall thereupon be
granted to the owner or owners of such mine or mines to commence mining operations, subject to the conditions of said order and the provisions of this act.
SEC. 15. That no permission granted to a mine owner or owners under this act shall take effect, so far as regards the working of a mine, until all impounding dams or other restraining works, if any are prescribed by the order granting such permission, have been completed and until the impounding dams or other restraining works or settling reservoirs provided by said commission have reached such a stage as, in the opinion of said commission, it is safe to use the same: Provided, however, That if said commission shall be of the opinion that the restraining and other works already constructed at the mine or mines shall be sufficient to protect the navigable rivers of said systems and the work of said commission, then the owner or owners of such mine or mines may be permitted to commence operations.
SEC. 16. That in case the joint petition referred to in section 11 hereof is granted, the commission shall fix the respective amounts to be paid by each owner of such mines toward providing and building necessary impounding dams or other restraining works. In the event of a petition being filed after the entry of such order, or in case the impounding dam or dams or other restraining works have already been constructed and accepted by said commission, the commission shall fix such amount as may be reasonable for the privilege of dumping therein, which amount shall be divided between the original owners of such impounding dams or other restraining works in proportion to the amount respectively paid by each party owning same. The expense of maintaining and protecting such joint dam or works shall be divided among mine owners using the same in such proportions as the commission shall determine. In all cases where it is practicable, restraining and impounding works are to be provided, constructed, and maintained by mine owners near or below the mine or mines before reaching the main tributaries of said navigable waters.
SEC. 17. That at no time shall any more débris be permitted to be washed away from any hydraulic mine or mines situated on the tributaries of said rivers and the respective branches of each, worked under the provisions of this act, than can be impounded within the restraining works erected.
SEC. 18. That the said commission may at any time, when the condition of the navigable rivers or when the capacities of all the impounding and settling facilities erected by the mine owners or such as may be provided by government authority require same, modify the order granting the privilege to mine by the hydraulic mining process so as to reduce amount thereof to meet the capacities of the facilities then in use, or actually required in order to protect the navigable rivers from damage, may revoke same until the further notice of the commission.
SEC. 19. That an intentional violation on the part of a mine owner or owners, company, or corporation, or the agents or employees of either, of the conditions of the order granted pursuant to section 13, or such modifications thereof as may have been made by said commission, shall work a forfeiture of the privileges thereby conferred, and upon notice being served by the order of said commission upon such owner or owners, company, or corporation, or agent in charge,
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work shall immediately cease. Said commission shall take necessary steps to enforce its orders in case of the failure, neglect, or refusal of such owner or owners, company, or corporation, or agent thereof, to comply therewith, or in the event of any person or persons, company, or corporation working by said process in said territory contrary to law.
SEC. 20. That said commission, or a committee therefrom, or officer of said corps assigned to duty under its orders, shall, whenever deemed necessary, visit said territory and all mines operating under the provisions of this act. A report of such examination shall be placed on file.
SEC. 21. That the said commission is hereby granted the right to use any of the public lands of the United States, or any rock, stone, timber, trees, brush, or material thereon or therein, for any of the purposes of this act; and the Secretary of the Interior is hereby authorized and requested, after notice has been filed with the Commissioner of the General Land Office by said commission, setting forth what public lands are required by it under the authority of this section, that such land or lands shall be withdrawn from sale and entry under the laws of the United States.
SEC. 22. That any person or persons who willfully or maliciously injure, damage, or destroy, or attempt to injure, damage, or destroy any dam or other work erected under the provisions of this act for restraining, impounding, or settling purposes, or for use in connection therewith, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof shall be fined not to exceed the sum of $5,000 or be impris oned not to exceed five years, or by both such fine and imprisonment, in the discretion of the court. And any person or persons, company, or corporation, their agents or employees, who shall mine by the hydraulic process directly or indirectly injuring the navigable waters of the United States, in violation of the provisions of this act shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine not exceeding $5,000, or by imprisonment not exceeding one year, or by both such fine and imprisonment, in the discretion of the court: Provided, That this section shall take effect on the 1st day of May, 1893.
SEC. 23. That upon the construction by the said commission of dams or other works for the detention of debris from hydraulic mines and the issuing of the order provided for by this act to any individual, company, or corporation to work any mine or mines by hydraulic process, the individual, company, or corporation operating thereunder working any mine or mines by hydraulic process, the débris from which flows into or is in whole or in part restrained by such dams or other works erected by said commission, shall pay a tax of 3 per centum on the gross proceeds of his, their, or its mine so worked; which tax of 3 per centum shall be ascertained and paid in accordance with regulations to be adopted by the Secretary of the Treasury, and the Treasurer of the United States is hereby authorized to receive the same. All sums of money paid into the Treasury under this section shall be set apart and credited to a fund to be known as the "débris fund," and shall be expended by said commission under the supervision of the Chief of Engineers and direction of the Secretary of Ŵar, in addition
to the appropriations made by law in the construction and maintenance of such restraining works and settling reservoirs as may be proper and necessary: Provided, that said commission is hereby authorized to receive and pay into the Treasury from the owner or owners of mines worked by the hydraulic process, to whom permission may have been granted so to work under the provisions hereof, such money advances as may be offered to aid in the construction of such impounding dams or other restraining works, or settling reservoirs, or sites therefor, as may be deemed necessary by said commission to protect the navigable channels of said river systems, on condition that all moneys so advanced shall be refunded as the said tax is paid into the said débris fund; And provided further, That in no event shall the Government of the United States be liable to refund same except as directed by this section.
SEC. 24. That for the purpose of securing harmony of action and economy in expenditures in the work to be done by the United States and the State of California, respectively, the former in its plans for the improvement and protection of the navigable streams and to prevent the depositing of mining débris or other minerals within the same, and the latter in its plans authorized by law for the reclamation, drainage, and protection of its lands, or relating to the working of hydraulic mines, the said commission is empowered to consult thereon with a commission of engineers of said State, if authorized by said Sate for said purpose, the result of such conference to be reported to the Chief of Engineers of the United States Army, and if by him approved shall be followed by said commission.
SEC. 25. That said commission, in order that such material as is now or may hereafter be lodged in the tributaries of the Sacramento and San Joaquin River systems resulting from mining operations, natural erosion, or other causes shall be prevented from injuring the said navigable rivers or such of the tributaries of either as may be navigable and the land adjacent thereto, is hereby directed and empowered, when appropriations are made therefor by law, or sufficient money is deposited for that purpose in said débris fund, to build at such points above the head of navigation in said rivers and on the main tributaries thereof, or branches of such tributaries, or at any place adjacent to the same, which in the judgment of said commission, will effect said object (the same to be of such material as will insure safety and permanency), such restraining or impounding dams and settling reservoirs, with such canals, locks, or other works adapted and required to complete same. The recommendations contained in Executive Document No. 267, Fifty-first Congress, second session, and Executive Document No. 98, Forty-seventh Congress, first session, as far as they refer to impounding dams, or other restraining works, are hereby adopted, and the same are directed to be made the basis of operations. The sum of $15,000 is hereby appropriated, from moneys in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, to be immediately available to defray the expenses of said commission.
A. MINING DÉBRIS ACT.
B. STATE COURTS, p. 943.
A. MINING DEBRIS ACT.
1. PURPOSE OF ACT.
2. Power of Congress OVER MINING OPERATIONS.
3. JURISDICTION OF COMMISSION.
4. DUTY OF COMMISSION.
5. HYDRAULIC MINING.
a. PROHIBITED WHEN INJURIOUS TO STREAMS.
b. PERMIT FROM COMMISSION NECESSARY.
c. CONDITIONS ON WHICH PERMITS GRANTED PROCE
1. PURPOSE OF ACT.
The purpose of this statute is to provide a means by which hydraulic mining can be carried on in the territory named without directly or indirectly injuring the navigability of the river systems mentioned.
United States v. North Bloomfield Gravel Min. Co., 81 Fed. 243, p. 250.
While it was the purpose of this act to prevent injuries if possible to the navigable rivers and to lower landowners, yet the act was not intended to exonerate a miner from liability, or in any respect to limit or restrict the powers of the State courts, but protected private property from threatened injury and to redress inflicted wrongs thereto caused by the operation of a hydraulic mine, though carried on under a permit and in strict compliance with the plans and directions of the commission.
County of Sutter v. Nicols, 152 Cal. 688, p. 696.
It is the intent and meaning of this statute to prohibit and make unlawful any and all hydraulic mining in the territory drained by the Sacramento and San Joaquin River systems which directly or indirectly injures the navigability of such system and to permit it in all cases where the work can be done without such injury to such river systems or other lands adjacent thereto.
United States v. North Bloomfield Gravel Min. Co., 81 Fed. 243, p. 251.
This act is intended to promote the navigability of the rivers named by providing for the regulation, restriction, and supervision of hydraulic mining upon headwaters or other rivers, but it does not purport to make the miners the agents of the United States to preserve the rivers below any other present state or restore them to a former condition, but is intended to so control and restrict the operation of such mines as to prevent the further clogging of these streams by mining débris and at the same time to devise plans whereby hydraulic mining can be carried on without injury to other persons.
County of Sutter v. Nicols, 152 Cal. 688, p. 695.
As to the circumstances and conditions leading to the enactment and on the interpretation of this statute, see:
United States v. North Bloomfield Gravel Min. Co., 81 Fed. 243, p. 248.
Hobbs v. Amador, etc., Canal Co., 66 Cal. 161.
Salstrom v. Orleans Bar Gold Min. Co., 153 Cal. 551.
Good v. West Min. Co., 154 Mo. App. 591; 136 S. W. 241.
Nelson v. O'Neal, 1 Mont. 284.
Fitzpatrick v. Montgomery, 20 Mont. 181; 51 Pac. 416.