The MLPA works to encourage the fomulation of government policies that support investiment in the sustainable development of Missouri's crushed stone resources and to communicate the economic importance and environmentally responsbile nature of the crushed stone industry to the public and to government. One of the methods utiilized by the MLPA to achieve that goal is our advocacy work in Jefferson City. Our registered lobbyists regularly communicate with government officials in both the legislative and executive branches. We monitor legislation, work with legislators, public officials and other industry trade associations to engage on specific pieces of legislation, both for and against, and we provide expert testimony and current information to lawmakers and regulatory authorities.
MAJOR LEGISLATIVE SUCCESS IN RECENT YEARS:
MLPA has been actively engaged in traditional mining issue legislation/regulation and has also engaged in significant tort reform and worker’s compensation issues.
Mining Property Tax Assessment - In 2020, the MLPA defeated 3 pieces of legislation that would have led to a change in method on appraisal/assessment of taxes on aggregate operations. This method could have resulted in increases of property taxes by 1,000% or more for MLPA members.
Transportation Infrastructure – 2019, the MLPA testified on multiple pieces of legislation dealing with the need for increases in transportation infrastructure funding.
Business Premises Liability – In 2018, the MLPA supported SB608, the Business Premises Liability Act. Under this act, a business can also claim as affirmative defense that it had implemented reasonable security measures, the incident occurred when the business was closed, or that the claimant was a trespasser or committing a felony.
Blasting Safety and Operation Fees - In 2018, MLPA was responsible for passing updates to the Missouri Blasting Safety Act, which involved raising the fees placed on explosives for the purposes of funding state inspections. State inspections are incredibly important to MLPA members as they often provide information from a third party that is used in defense of complaints and lawsuits by adjoining landowners. It took two years of intense work to pass this legislation.
Mining Property Tax Assessment - In 2016, MLPA led the lobbying effort to pass legislation that provides fairness to mining and quarry operations in the appraisal/assessment of taxes on real property. This was in response to assessors in several counties that hired an out-of-state consultant who used an inappropriate method of appraisal to increase property taxes by 1,000% or more. Like the explosives fee bill in 2018, this took two years to pass.
DNR Fees - In 2016 MLPA participated in a successful effort to stop legislation that would have transferred DNR permit fees held in a temporary reserve account to the state’s general revenue account.
Permitting - In 2014 MLPA added language to land reclamation legislation that streamlines and clarifies the path to obtaining permits or permit modifications for new mining operations, expansions or transfers.
Transportation of aggregates - In 2012 MLPA led the effort to pass legislation that requires municipalities to provide at least one street for commercial truck traffic. This insures that dump trucks have direct access to state highways.
Permitting and public testimony - In 2011 MLPA was heavily involved in passing legislation modifying the land reclamation law requiring that anyone opposing a permit issuance must present strong evidence regarding adverse effects to their health, safety and livelihood (instead of merely an allegation) before they have legal standing to challenge a permit.
MAJOR REGULATORY SUCCESS IN RECENT YEARS:
MSHA reform - In 2018, the MLPA compiled comments from its members in response to President Trumps’s Executive Order 13777, which called for a review of federal regulations. MSHA posted a website soliciting comments and the MLPA, through the work of it’s Safety Committee, submitted the most comprehensive list of comments of any organization with a total of 34 comments.
E-Permitting – The MLPA was the sole Association invited to participate in the development and testing of a new E-Permitting process specific to the Land Reclamation Program.
Stormwater Permits – In 2017, MLPA met with MDNR Water Pollution Control personnel numerous times to help develop, review and critic the New MOG49 Master General Stormwater Permit for our industry.
Elimination of Permits - The MLPA filed several comments in 2017 with DNR regarding the Red Tape Reduction Act, Missouri’s efforts to reduce unnecessary and burdensome regulations. The MLPA filed comments on particulate matter in ambient air, called for the elimination of the state Basic Operating Permit and to remove the requirement of outfall signage associated with the General Permit for Storm Water Discharge. In response to these comments, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources has filed rulemaking changes eliminating the Basic Operation Permit and has agreed to address the outfall signs when it revises the Storm Water Discharge permit in the near future.
DNR Fee Structures - MLPA created work groups in 2016 to actively participate/negotiate with both the Air Pollution Control Program and Land Reclamation Program regarding new fee structures for various permits and annual site renewal fees.
Cutting Permit Time Down - In 2016 DNR’s Air Pollution Control Program agreed to a major improvement in obtaining permits for quarry operations, which also applies to sand/gravel plants, asphalt plants and concrete plants. This is a direct result of an earlier letter written to by MLPA expressing frustration with aspects of obtaining permits for our industry.
The MLPA maintains several committees that actively work with federal and state regulatory authorities. The MLPA Safety Committee works with MSHA officials and the Missouri Department of Labor on issues revolving around safety and inspections. The Environmental Committee works directly with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources on issues dealing with land reclamation, permitting and environmental standards. Finally, the MoDOT Highway Cooperative Committee works with the Missouri Department of Transportation on issues dealing with aggregate specifications, road materials and aggregate technician training.
The Missouri Limestone Producers Association maintains a Political Action Committee to raise funds to support the election of a slate of pro-business legislators. Prior to making a contribution to any candidate, the MLPA reviews candidate voting records on issues important to our industry. Once legislators are elected, the MLPA continues to monitor their voting records.
Over the years the PAC has supported candidates on both sides of the aisle. The funding has come from fundraising efforts through the annual MLPA Golf Tournament and MLPA Sporting Clays Tournament. Additional funds may be donated by individuals and corporations who wish to support the industry and the efforts of the MLPA through its advocacy work in Jefferson City.