EPA may impose financial requirements on hardrock mining industry
EPA is considering imposing new financial requirements on hard rock mining in response to historical mining activities that created Superfund sites.
EPA and the National Mining Association squared off on the proposal in a forum at the recent Northwest Miner's Association meeting, according to a review on Mineweb.com.
They quote Patty McGrath, EPA regional mining coordinator, as saying that "there are many examples where mine operators have failed to make adequate financial provisions for closure costs and this has resulted in the abandonment of sites in unsafe and unacceptable environmental conditions. In these cases, state and federal agencies bear the financial burden of cleaning up the site."
Hard rock mining would be the first industry targeted by EPA. National Mining Associate General Counsel Tammy Bridgeford argued that EPA's plan is based on old occurrences that took place prior to modern mining, reclamation, and environmental regulations and procedures. NMA says increased state and federal financial responsibility requirements are adequate and that EPA's plan is unnecessary and harmful.
EPA said they are evaluating requirements of BLM, the U.S. Forest Service, and state agencies before taking action.