2016 #coleg: HB16-1276, Emergency mine spill legislation sails through the State House

Colorado abandoned mines
Colorado abandoned mines

From The Durango Herald (Peter Marcus):

The Colorado House on Thursday gave final approval to a measure that would allow a quick response to emergency mine spills, such as Gold King.

The bill would authorize the use of emergency funds anytime hazardous circumstances exist at a legacy mine site.

The Colorado Division of Reclamation, Mining and Safety is currently allowed to use the funds only if the site is subject to the division’s regulatory authority.

“This is an important step to ensure we can take care of hazardous conditions at mining sites and protect our environment and public safety,” said Rep. Millie Hamner, D-Dillon, who co-sponsored the bill with Rep. Don Coram, R-Montrose.

Legacy sites are hard-rock mining operations that were abandoned prior to July 1, 1976…

At least 23,000 inactive mines have been identified in Colorado, many of which pose threats to public health and environment.

The legislation passed Thursday would allow for cleanups at sites that are not listed as a Superfund site.

It passed the House, 63-2, and now heads to the Senate for consideration.

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