AEMA Supports the Introduction of Good Samaritan Legislation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Thursday, February 3, 2022

Media Contact:

Kenna O’Neill

koneill@miningamerica.org

AEMA Supports the Introduction of Good Samaritan Legislation

Spokane Valley, WA – The American Exploration & Mining Association (AEMA), a national trade organization representing the hardrock mining industry, praised the introduction of the Good Samaritan Remediation of Abandon Hardrock Mines Act of 2022 (Good Samaritan) legislation today. With more than 1,200 members in 44 states, AEMA has been actively involved in efforts to craft and introduce “Good Sam” legislation alongside industry allies and conservation stakeholders for many years.

 

Although some progress has been made with the inclusion of abandoned mine land (AML) cleanup funding in the recently passed infrastructure bill, the number one impediment to mitigation and cleanup of hardrock AML sites is the potential for immediate, “cradle to grave” liability for anyone who wants to voluntarily mitigate and reclaim an AML. Effective Good Samaritan legislation would remove that impediment by allowing mining companies and others with no previous involvement at an AML site to voluntarily improve safety and environmental conditions and reclaim that site, in whole or in part, without the threat of potentially enormous liability under CERCLA, the Clean Water Act, and other federal and state environmental laws.

 

“The mining industry has the desire, the experience, the technology, the expertise and the capital to remediate and reclaim AMLs. Good Samaritan legislation makes sense and can be a win-win-win-win for the environment, for the Good Samaritan, for the community, and for the society,” said American Exploration & Mining Association Executive Director Mark Compton. “We applaud Senator Risch and Senator Heinrich for their leadership on this issue, and we look forward to working with them and multiple stakeholder partners to pass this commonsense pilot project legislation.”

 

Background:

 

Hardrock AML’s are historic, the result of more than one hundred years of mining practices used prior to the enactment of modern environmental laws and regulations and the requirement to provide financial assurance to guarantee proper reclamation. Today’s mining industry is governed by a comprehensive body of federal and state environmental laws and regulations and financial assurance requirements that work together to ensure that today’s mines will not become tomorrow’s AML’s. Thus, the AML problem is finite and historical, and not one that will grow in the future.

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About AEMA:

American Exploration & Mining Association is a 127 year old, 1,200 member, national association representing the minerals industry. AEMA is the recognized national voice for exploration, the junior mining sector, maintaining access to public lands, and represents the entire mining life cycle, from exploration through production to reclamation and closure.