Senate committee OKs conservation, mine cleanup bills

By Rebekah Alvey | 03/12/2024 01:21 PM EDT

The Environment and Public Works Committee also voted to reauthorize the Economic Development Administration for the first time in nearly 20 years.

Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Tom Carper (D-Del.).

Senate Environment and Public Works ranking member Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Chair Tom Carper (D-Del.) pushed through a trio of bipartisan bills Tuesday. Francis Chung/POLITICO

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee approved legislation Tuesday on conservation and EPA cleanup work at abandoned mines.

The panel passed by voice vote S. 3791 to reauthorize the America’s Conservation Enhancement Act, which was signed into law in 2020. Chair Tom Carper (D-Del.) and ranking member Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) introduced the bill last month.

It would reauthorize programs like the North American Wetlands Conservation Fund, the Chesapeake Bay Program and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. The bill also seeks to protect livestock from predators and combat invasive species.


S. 3858, the “Legacy Mine Cleanup Act,” from Sens. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) and Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), would permanently authorize EPA’s Office of Mountains, Deserts and Plains. The program coordinates the cleanup of former mining sites, including many on tribal land.