Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Jackley joins Fox, Balderas in EPA suit

South Dakota has joined twelve other mostly western states in a lawsuit against the Trump Organization's Environmental Prostitution Agency.

Six environmental groups sued EPA last month for failing to promote a rule that would have forced hard rock mines to meet federal financial bond rules passed during the Obama years. If EPA actually enforced federal bonding requirements federal rules could supersede state regulations.

Attorneys General Marty Jackley, Tim Fox of Montana and Hector Balderas of New Mexico have signed onto the suit.
Close to a decade ago EPA considered, by court order, establishing nationwide minimum bonding requirements for hard rock mining under Superfund law. That process was also due to a lawsuit brought against EPA in 2009 by environmental groups. The Sierra Club and the Idaho Conservation League and other environmental groups filed suit in federal court, challenging EPA’s decision not to establish national minimum bonding requirements. [Montana Standard]
On the heels of failures by mining companies like Brohm, Peabody and in the wake of the Gold King spill the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) issued a warning against the use of self-bonding. South Dakota has a significant stake in Peabody and wants to open the Gilt Edge Mine to another Canadian firm.
The Gilt Edge gold mine in the northern Black Hills closed in 1999. Among other problems the mine was polluted with contaminated water. The company’s bond was valued at about $8.2 million. Regulators also received another $9.8 million in settlement payments and interest. However the EPA reports that cleanup costs, likely in excess of $200 million, will be primarily funded through the EPA’s Superfund. [David Ganje]
Donald Trump wants to dismantle sanctions on self-bonding because they're a burden on his self-interests.

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