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It is in the best interests of the citizens of the state of Washington to insure the highest degree of environmental protection while allowing the proper development and use of its natural resources, including its mineral resources. Metals mining can have significant positive and adverse impacts on the state and on local communities. The purpose of this chapter is to assure that metals mineral mining or milling operations are designed, constructed, and operated in a manner that promotes both economic opportunities and environmental and public health safeguards for the citizens of the state. It is the intent of the legislature to create a regulatory framework which yields, to the greatest extent possible, a metals mining industry that is compatible with these policies.
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