NASHVILLE - Gov. Bill Haslam has signed into law a bill providing some regulation of rock mining, but it wasn't the measure championed by Rep. Richard Floyd, R-Chattanooga.
The Tennessee Rock Harvesting Act, signed Tuesday, would prohibit an operator from stripping rock from property without having first obtained a permit from the state commissioner of environment and conservation.
The Tennessee Conservation Voters applauded Haslam and lawmakers for enacting what it called "important legislation" by Rep. David Hawk, R-Greeneville, and Sen. Steve Southerland, R-Morristown.
The bill gives the state the right to issue stop-work orders for those without permits.
"We have seen the devastation that unregulated rock harvesting can create and support specific rules and regulations that clarify the operations of those who are excavating for rocks," said the environmental group's spokeswoman Kim Sasser Hayden. "This bill moves Tennessee closer to that objective."
Floyd's bill went further in several areas, including reclamation of areas where rocks such as flagstone and fieldstone, prized by the building industry, are mined. His legislation, however, was opposed by the rock-mining industry.
For complete details, see tomorrow's Times Free Press.