WGA Policy Resolution 2024-08, Cleaning Up Abandoned Hardrock Mines in the West

“Good Samaritans” are entities that voluntarily clean up abandoned mine sites.  These Good Samaritans face potential liability under the Clean Water Act (CWA), the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), despite not having owned or operated the mine.  In the resolution, Western Governors call on Congress to enact legislation to protect Good Samaritans from potential liabilities under CWA, CERCLA, and RCRA.  Western Governors support pilot projects, including projects under state-led programs, to address site-specific liabilities if comprehensive legislation addressing these issues is not possible in the short term.  The resolution also emphasizes that states are best suited to determine Good Samaritan eligibility and manage reclamation plans and calls for full appropriations for the Abandoned Hardrock Mine Reclamation Program to address the backlog of abandoned hardrock mine inventory. Read, download the resolution

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