Thursday, October 29, 2015

DEP Testifies At Congressional Hearing On Good Samaritan Mine Reclamation

DEP's Bureau of Abandoned Mine Reclamation Director Eric Cavazza testified before the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee on October 21 about opportunities for and impediments for good Samaritan mine reclamation.
Cavazza testified on behalf of the Interstate Mining Compact Commission and the National Association of Abandoned Mine Land Programs.  He told members of the Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment that the enactment of Good Samaritan legislation would be immensely helpful to the States’ and Tribes’ ongoing efforts to remediate the vast quantities of AML sites remaining, and those continuing to manifest.
"We have seen the results from this type of approach in states such as Pennsylvania, which enacted its own Good Samaritan law to provide protections and immunities related to state clean water requirements for those groups and individuals who were not legally responsible but who voluntarily undertook the reclamation of abandoned mine lands or abatement of mine drainage," Cavazza said.  "However, under the Pennsylvania Good Samaritan program, these groups are still exposed to potential liability under the federal Clean Water Act for their good deeds, which is having a chilling effect on watershed cleanup efforts."
Click Here for a copy of Cavazza’s testimony.
Pennsylvania’s Good Samaritan law has resulted in the reclamation of over 250 mining sites throughout the Commonwealth.
Trout Unlimited CEO and President Chris Wood testified at the same hearing and described the success Pennsylvania has had with its own good Samaritan reclamation provision.
Click Here to watch a video of the hearing and for other written testimony.
(Reprinted from the Oct. 29 DEP News. Click Here to sign up for your own copy.)

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