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House Passes Mining Bill Limiting Community Rights

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By Aaron Mintzes

September 20, 2013

On Wednesday, the House of Representatives passed HR 761, the poorly titled National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act of 2013. Every member of the House Majority voted for it joined by fourteen House Democrats.

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Sen. Udall and Rep. Tipton Introduce Good Samaritan Bill to Encourage Mine Cleanup

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By 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).

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