Environmental Groups to Sue EPA Over Mine Cleanup
An environmental group (**) is planning to sue the federal government over billions of dollars in cleanup costs at polluted mines. Earhjustice says it is filing a notice to sue the Environmental Protection Agency. The suit is being filed on behalf of four conservation groups. The idea is to make it harder for mining companies and other industries to avoid costly cleanups by declaring bankruptcy. Earthjustice says Asarco is the most far-reaching example of irresponsible mining operations. Asarco declared bankruptcy in 2005, leaving behind 94 Superfund sites in 21 states, with a total cleanup cost estimated at more than $1 billion. That’s far more than the $100 million trust the company set aside for cleanup. Last week the US House approved the Hardrock Mining and Reclamation Act. Among other things, the bill requires mines to post a bond to cover future cleanup costs before receiving a permit to mine on public lands. Arizona’s House delagation split on the measure. Republicans opposed it and Democrats backed it."
"November 6, 2007
The public interest law firm Earthjustice announced today it is representing community groups in Illinois, New Mexico, Nevada, and Idaho in a lawsuit to prevent future problems in areas riddled with toxic mine sites."
Lisa Gollin Evans
Marblehead, MA 01945
San Francisco, California 941 05
Contact: Ed Hopkins, Director of the Environmental Quality Program,
Taos, NM 87571
Contact: Brian Shields, Executive Director
Great Basin Mine Watch
Reno, NV 89503
Contact: Dan Randolph, Executive Director
Idaho Conservation League
Boise, Idaho 83701
Contact: John Robison, Public Lands Director