Western Governors urge Congress: ‘Reintroduce and expedite’ Good Samaritan mine cleanup legislation

Western Governors request that Congressional leadership "reintroduce and expedite consideration" of the Good Samaritan Remediation of Orphan Hardrock Mines Act because "liability concerns have hampered voluntary remediation efforts by such groups for too long."

The Feb. 8, 2019 letter signed by WGA Chair Hawaii Gov. David Ige and WGA Vice Chair North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum notes the "legacy of abandoned hardrock mines in the West is an issue that cannot be addressed without voluntary remediation by entities that have no responsibility for the cleanup – 'Good Samaritans.' ”

The Governors remind that legislation to address liability for Good Samaritans has been regularly introduced in Congress, without success, since 1999. While a 2018 Good Samaritan bill was not as comprehensive as the Governors would like, they support its reintroduction, "recognizing that a pilot program may be necessary to pave the way for future across-the-board legislation."

"The 2018 Good Samaritan bills represent a critical step to address the cleanup of abandoned hardrock mines in the West." the Governors conclude. "Western Governors look forward to working with Congress to establish a pilot program that will enable the passage of future comprehensive legislation to address Good Samaritan liability."

Read, download the letter

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