EARTHblog » Aaron Mintzes
August 2, 2013
Today Senator Udall (D-CO) and Rep. Tipton (R-CO) introduced the Good Samaritan Clean Up of Abandoned Hard Mines Act of 2013 (Good Sam). Earthworks welcomes this common sense bipartisan solution to one of the most pervasive pollution problems in the West- the enormous damage to water quality caused by acid drainage from approximately 500,000 abandoned mines. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has estimated that 40% of the Western headwaters have pollution from mining. Clean up costs total an estimated $32-$72 billion. The Udall/Tipton bill provides one long sought solution: allow conservation organizations to perform their own clean up. Much of the hard work and progress in this area belongs to our friends at Trout Unlimited. Preventing these good samaritans from taking on the monumental task of cleaning up abandoned mines are quirks in the Clean Water Act (CWA) and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA or Superfund law).
July 26, 2013
Back in 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) took the extraordinary step of issuing an Emergency Administrative Order under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) against Range Resources after the Lipsky family of Parker County, TX reported they could light their water on fire. The EPA immediately began an investigation. They commissioned a well-respected scientist, Dr. Geoffrey Thyne, to conduct an independent analysis of the water to determine whether Range’s wells might have been the source of the methane contaminating the Lipsky’s water supply. The Thyne report revealed that Range could indeed have caused the methane.