US EPA Determines Risks from Hardrock Mining Industry Minimal and No Need for Additional Federal Requirements

Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that the Agency will not issue final regulations for financial responsibility requirements for certain hardrock mining facilities.

“After careful analysis of public comments, the statutory authority, and the record for this rulemaking, EPA is confident that modern industry practices, along with existing state and federal requirements address risks from operating hardrock mining facilities,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.  “Additional financial assurance requirements are unnecessary and would impose an undue burden on this important sector of the American economy and rural America, where most of these mining jobs are based.”

EPA published proposed regulations under section 108(b) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA, or Superfund) on January 11, 2017, and the public comment period closed on July 11, 2017.  EPA has decided not to issue final regulations because the risks associated with these facilities’ operations are addressed by existing federal and state programs and industry practices.  EPA was under a court-ordered deadline to take final action on this rulemaking by December 1, 2017.  The decision not to issue final rules under CERCLA section 108(b) will be published in the Federal Register.



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