Mining county asks lawmakers for open meetings law exemption
CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - Officials in a rural Nevada county with significant mining assets want state lawmakers to carve out an exemption in the state’s Open Meeting Law to allow them to discuss environmental assessments for proposed projects before the reports are released to the public.
Members of the Legislature’s Public Lands Committee voted 7-1 on Tuesday to draft a bill that would provide the exemption that could affect massive mining projects under review.
The bill would allow local officials to hold closed meetings with federal agencies during the “pre-decisional” phase of projects undergoing environmental impact reviews required by the National Environmental Policy Act.
Eureka County Natural Resource Manager Jake Tibbitts said the proposal would give local governments representing their constituents' interests more power to participate in the review process. Environmentalists and open government advocates found the argument questionable.
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