From The Denver Post (Bruce Finley):
State legislation aimed at helping government deal with inactive mines contaminating waterways advanced Monday, a step toward cleanups at sites that cannot qualify for a federal Superfund designation.
The bill backed by Reps. Millie Hamner, D-Dillon, and Don Coram, R-Montrose, passed the House on its second reading. It allows for the use of funds collected by state mining regulators at inactive mine sites where hazardous circumstances exist.
But the amount, $100,000 in an emergency fund, is tiny compared with the magnitude of the problem, with hundreds of mines draining into streams and rivers.
“It’s a small amount of money, but every bit can help, and it provides more flexibility,” said Todd Hartman, spokesman for the state Department of Natural Resources.