"DENVER -- The Environmental Protection Agency, complying with a court order, will develop a rule to guarantee companies that mine everything from copper to uranium will pay for needed environmental cleanup, not taxpayers.
The announcement on Monday comes in the wake of a federal judge's order in February requiring the EPA to close loopholes that allow some companies to get out of paying for such costly cleanups when they file bankruptcy.
The agency said it will develop similar financial responsibility requirements for other types of operations but started with hardrock mining because of the size of the operations, the amount of waste and the number of mining sites on its Superfund's national priorities list.
The EPA did not release specifics on how it will establish financial assurance requirements but said it will propose the rule by spring 2011. An e-mail message asking the agency for more details was not answered."