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Congress Wants to Accelerate Clean Up of Colorado Mines

Capitol News Connectiona

Colorado’s abandoned mines are notorious safety and environmental hazards. Congress is working on legislation that could accelerate the clean-up and closure of the potential death traps. But the idea is not without hazards of its own.

Colorado has 23 thousand abandoned mines which pollute water and can become death traps for explorers. The mines are so old that in many cases the government can’t compel anyone to clean them up.

The House is considering another push for supporters call a “Good Samaritan” bill. It would allow companies access to abandoned mines so long as they clean them up. In exchange, they would be exempt from federal liabilities and regulations.

“In Colorado we’ve got a huge abandoned mine problem,” says Loretta Pineda of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources. She recently spoke on Capitol Hill in favor of the Good Samaritan law.

“A good Samaritan law for Colorado would be a very good thing and would help us in remediating a lot of water quality issues in the state.”

Opponents of the idea say companies could make toxic mines even worse without strict regulations.

Patrick Terpstra - Capitol News Connection