Udall Calls on House to Pass Mining Reclamation Fund Legislation
Bill, Which Udall Co-sponsored, Would Help Colorado Clean Up Hard Rock Mining Sites
Mark Udall called on the U.S. House of Representatives to quickly pass legislation he has co-sponsored that will allow Colorado and other states more flexibility in utilizing federal funds to clean up abandoned hard rock mining sites. The legislation, S.897, passed the Senate in November 2011, with Udall’s strong advocacy.
"Abandoned hard rock mines pose serious public safety risks and health and environmental hazards. We need to leverage every tool available to reclaim these mines and protect the public," Udall said. "I am calling on my colleagues in the House to pass this common-sense, bipartisan proposal. The longer we wait, the greater the risks to public health and safety and our environment."
The legislation, would allow states like Colorado to use funds that were previously only available for the reclamation of coal mines to be used for hard rock mines as well. The Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act currently only allows reclamation funds to be used for coal mines, which are not, in some cases, the most hazardous sites for public health and safety.
Udall, who sits on the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, has been a vocal supporter of helping state and local entities clean up Colorado’s abandoned hard rock mines. He has been working with the EPA to give additional certainty to Good Samaritans for the cleanup of abandoned hard rock mines.