Letter to Editor RE: ‘Environmental groups push EPA to hold mining companies accountable

CMA sent the letter to the editor below responding to the Durango Herald’s recent misleading article about the financial assurance rule and legislative efforts to block its promulgation.

A link to the article also appears below.   — http://www.durangoherald.com/article/20160715/NEWS01/160719732//article/20160715/NEWS01/160719732/Environmental-groups-push-EPA-to-hold-mining-companies-accountable


Dear Durango Herald Letters Editor:

Your July 18 article, “Environmental groups push EPA to hold mining companies accountable,” misstates the circumstances surrounding financial assurance regulations for the mining industry.

A comprehensive framework of state and federal laws and rules apply throughout the life and closure of a mine that prevent the release of hazardous substances and ensure that companies properly take care of mine sites after closure, making EPA’s rulemaking efforts duplicative as well as preemptive of successful programs.

Today, federal agencies and the states hold many billions of dollars dedicated to accomplishing the same goal as the sought-after rules under the Superfund program.

Finally, contrary to the representation in the article, the rules in question would not have prevented the Gold King Mine spill – a spill triggered by contractors working under EPA supervision at a legacy mine developed decades before Superfund became law and modern mining and reclamation activities became the norm. Despite attempts by activists to inappropriately exploit the tragedy as a rationale for further rulemaking, the simple fact is that Superfund financial assurance rules will not finance the cleanup of this highly publicized accident or any other legacy sites.


Colorado Mining Association

216 16th Street, Suite 1250

Denver, CO 80202


303/575-9194 Fax