Bipartisan House bill unveiled to accelerate mine cleanups

By Hannah Northey | 03/22/2024 06:41 AM EDT

The legislation, a companion to a Senate version, has raised concerns among some Democrats and green groups.

Rep. Celeste Maloy (R-Utah).

Rep. Celeste Maloy (R-Utah) is sponsoring legislation to promote good Samaritan abandoned mine cleanups. Francis Chung/POLITICO

Bipartisan House lawmakers on Thursday introduced a bill to fast-track the cleanup of abandoned hardrock mines, mirroring language that’s moving through the Senate.

Republican Rep. Celeste Maloy of Utah and Democratic Rep. Mary Peltola of Alaska floated “Good Samaritan Remediation of Abandoned Hardrock Mines Act of 2024,” which would allow qualified groups to clean up polluting, abandoned hardrock mines and facilities without facing long-term legal and financial liabilities under current law.

The measure is a companion to S. 2781— championed by Sens. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Jim Risch (R-Idaho) that was approved by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee earlier this year.


The language has drawn the support of the National Mining Association, the American Exploration & Mining Association, Trout Unlimited and The Nature Conservancy, but some Senate Democrats and environmental groups have raised questions.