The Western Governors' Association sent a letter on April 27, 2016, to Mick Mulvaney, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, regarding the possible imposition of royalty burdens on new and existing mining operations on federal lands. Western Governors recommend that any system for the collection of royalties on the production of hardrock minerals should be developed in close consultation with states, as well as relevant stakeholders in the mining industry.
Western Governors sent a letter on Feb. 21, 2017, to Barbara Foster in the Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency about its proposed rule, Financial Responsibility Requirements under CERCLA § 108(b) for Classes of Facilities in the Hardrock Mining Industry. The letter reiterated several concerns, including a lack of substantive state engagement during rule development and potential preemption of existing state regulations. The Governors also requested a 120-day comment period extension.
Western Governors sent the following comments on Aug. 17, 2016, to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy regarding its federalism assessment for the agency’s pending rulemaking under section 108(b) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA) for the hardrock mining industry. The outreach stated: "Development of – and consultation with state partners regarding – EPA’s pending financial assurance rule for the hardrock mining sector has proven unsatisfactory."
Western Governors sent a letter on March 29, 2016, to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy to express concern with the potential introduction of EPA financial assurance requirements on the hard rock mining industry. The letter highlighted that these additional bonding requirements would be duplicative to existing state regulations and "impair western economies and the hard rock mining industry in America."
Western Governors sent a letter on Oct. 20, 2015, to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure to convey the Governors’ position on liability issues associated with abandoned mines. The Governors requested that WGA Policy Resolution 2013-05, Cleaning Up Abandoned Mines in the West be included as part of the record for the upcoming Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment “Abandoned Mines in the United States and Opportunities for Good Samaritan Cleanups” hearing.
Western Governors sent a letter on Oct. 7, 2015, to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee expressing support for legislative efforts to ensure timely access to domestic minerals vital to the nation’s economy and national security. The Governors shared their frustrations with federal regulatory complexities pushing minerals development to move elsewhere and urged the Committee to help streamline the federal mine permitting process.
Western Governors sent a letter on May 15, 2015, to House and Senate leadership expressing support for congressional efforts to address problematic regulatory confusion created by the Final Rule for the Disposal of Coal Combustion Residuals (CCR) from Electric Utilities, issued by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in December, 2014. The letter explained, "EPA’s final rule produces an unintended regulatory consequence in that it creates a dual federal and state regulatory system ... This approach marginalizes the role of state regulation, oversight and enforcement." The governors emphasized that Western states have effective regulatory infrastructure in place to operate as the principal regulatory authorities over CCR.
Western Governors sent letters to Senator Mark Udall and Representative Scott Tipton to express support for the Good Samaritan Cleanup of Abandoned Hardrock Mines Act of 2013 legislation that they sponsored. The governors wrote, "Western Governors have long advocated shielding from liability state agencies, non-profit groups and industry acting as Good Samaritans in the voluntary cleanup of abandoned mine sites. Thank you for your championship of this critical issue"
The Western Governors' Association sent a letter on July 26, 2013, to Representative Cory Gardner expressing Western Governors' support for legislation he introduced, the Reducing Excessive Deadline Obligations Act (H.R. 2279). The legislation intends to restrict Environmental Protection Agency rulemaking that might duplicate or pre-empt existing state programs. The letter focused on issues that the Western states have faced on this matter in regards to hard rock mining.
Western Governors sent a letter on Aug. 27, 2015, to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees expressing opposition to the Environmental Protection Agency’s current rulemaking efforts to develop financial responsibility requirements for the hardrock mining industry under Section 108(b) of CERCLA. The letter emphasized, "We believe that the existing bonding requirements applied under state law are adequate and sufficient and thus would support Congressional action that would direct EPA to halt any further rulemaking activity in this regard."