Western Governors encourage Senate to allow states to determine eligibility for Good Samaritan status

Letters, WGA News

In correspondence with Senate leadership, Western Governors voiced their support for the Good Samaritan Remediation of Abandoned Hardrock Mines Act of 2024 and the pilot program proposed in the bill that would protect Good Samaritans from liability exposure. However, instead of granting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency with authority to determine an organization’s Good Samaritan eligibility, the letter of March 22, 2024, signed by the Chair of the Western Governors’ Association, Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon, and Vice Chair, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, recommended that power should be vested in the states. “Many states have agencies that administer the Clean Water Act, regulate and require financial assurance for reclamation of hardrock mines, remediate affected waters, and implement abandoned mine programs,” the letter read. “These functions demonstrate that states are qualified to review and determine the adequacy of Good Samaritan reclamation plans and should be allowed to do so.” Read the full correspondence for additional details.

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