- Policy Platforms
There are tens of thousands of abandoned mines dispersed across the country, and a subset of those mines pose significant environmental hazards like acid mine drainage, or physical hazards like open pits and unstable slopes. On September 29, WGA's Executive Director, Jim Ogsbury, testified before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works in regards to S. 3571, the Good Samaritan Remediation of Abandoned Hardrock Mines Act. If passed, S. 3571 would create a pilot program that would allow Good Samaritans to clean up certain abandoned mines without exposing themselves to legal liabilities associated with mine remediation. These Good Samaritans could be any number of entities such as non-profit organizations or governments. The one commonality between all Good Samaritans are that they were not responsible for the mines, but want to voluntarily mitigate the hazards they pose. Western Governors’ collective policy on abandoned mines can be found in WGA Policy Resolution 2021-09, Cleaning Up Abandoned Hardrock Mines in the West, which served as the basis of Ogsbury’s testimony. Read a transcript of Ogsbury's testimony here, or watch the full hearing here.