Bennet: Good Samaritan Discussion Draft Would Help Clean Up Abandoned Mines

Bennet Testifies Before EPW Committee on Draft of Bipartisan Bill

Washington, D.C. - Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet today testified before the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee on the draft Good Samaritan legislation that he proposed with Senator Cory Gardner and Representative Scott Tipton. The lawmakers are gathering additional input prior to introducing a bill in the coming months.

"The blowout at the Gold King Mine was an environmental and economic disaster for communities throughout southwest Colorado. It was a stark reminder that abandoned mines are a constant source of pollution and a threat to watersheds across the West," Bennet said in his testimony before the committee. "[This] bill will encourage states, local governments, nonprofits, and companies to clean up abandoned mines. It gives Good Samaritans who had no part in the creation of mine pollution the opportunity to apply for a permit to improve water quality... I remain hopeful that we can reach a consensus on outstanding issues."

In January, Bennet, along with Gardner and Tipton, released a draft of the Good Samaritan Cleanup of Orphan Mines Act that is designed to allow Good Samaritans, such as state agencies, local governments, the mining industry, nonprofits, and other groups, to clean up the environment and improve water quality that has been degraded by orphan mines. The discussion draft was crafted with the help of Coloradans, including many of the communities affected by pollution from abandoned mines and the Gold King Mine spill.


Click here to view Bennet's testimony at today's hearing.