United States Senator Cory Gardner and Congressman Scott Tipton of Colorado introduced:
Good Samaritan Remediation of Orphan Hardrock Mines Act of 2018: H.R. 7226 ("Bill")
The Bill would establish a pilot program that would promote the cleanup of orphan hardrock mines.
The Bill is intended to address impediments posed by the liability provisions under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act and the Federal Water Pollution Control Act. These federal statutory liability provisions have been argued by some to hinder prior cleanup of such sites.
The legislation is advocated by its sponsors to create a pilot program to allow qualifying Good Samaritans to clean up such sites without the assumption of long-term liability.
The National Mine Association issued a news release in support of the Bill stating:
Today’s thorough federal and state regulations require that land reclamation or restoration be a key component of every mining project – but that wasn’t always the case. As a result, legacy mine sites have remained abandoned for decades or centuries. While our industry, environmental groups, and others have the expertise and desire to rehabilitate these lands, current laws are preventing environmental progress. Senator Gardner and Congressman Tipton’s legislation would change that.
These bills are vital to clearing obstacles that are impeding remediation efforts at abandoned legacy mine sites that continue to impact land and water resources. Good Samaritans should be supported in their efforts to clean up these sites without fear of incurring additional legal liability. This is common sense legislation that Congress has discussed for years. Now is the time for action.
A copy of the Bill can be found here and the National Mining Association news release here.