Trump EPA Rule Change Exploits Taxpayers For Mine Cleanup, Critics Say

"When the Zortman Landusky gold and silver mine, located upstream from Montana’s enormous Fort Belknap reservation, went bankrupt in 1998, the cost of the cleanup fell on the US taxpayer. The costs keep growing.

“Toxic pollution from the Zortman Landusky mine has contaminated nearly a dozen streams in the Little Rocky mountains and harmed the Assiniboine and Gros Ventre tribes that live downstream,” Bonnie Gestring, a staffer with Earthworks, a member of the Western Mining Action Network, said.

In order to stop future such abuses, the Obama administration moved to require hard rock mining operations to prove they had the financial means to clean up future pollution. The rule, published just three days after Obama left office, was meant to aid cash-strapped “Superfund” cleanups of areas contaminated by hazardous waste and was aimed at an industry with a long history of polluting streams and groundwater and leaving taxpayers to foot the cleanup bill."

Benjamin Preston reports for the Guardian December 17, 2017.

Source: Guardian, 12/19/2017