WHEREAS thousands of abandoned or inactive mines exist in Colorado and elsewhere in the United States; and
WHEREAS abandoned mines can be a source of mine drainage that contributes heavy metals into streams adversely impacting water quality and aquatic habitat; and
WHEREAS clean-up of these sites is hampered by liability exposure to parties who are interested in remediating such sites, but who are not responsible for existing conditions, and often the owner of the mine cannot be found or is not the one responsible for the conditions and/or the owner is not economically-able to assist in clean-up; and
WHEREAS current environmental law (CERCLA, etc.) serves to inhibit the clean-up of abandoned or inactive mines, and a third- party undertaking to clean-up an abandoned or inactive mine (a “Good Samaritan”) will be exposed to the same liability that would apply to a party responsible for creating the site’s problems in the first place.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that CLUB 20 supports legislation that protects a remediating, non-responsible third party from becoming legally responsible for any discharge or environmental contamination caused by previous or current landowners, or for any remaining water discharges that could not be cleaned-up.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that CLUB 20 supports the creation of a permit whereby Good Samaritans can help clean-up abandoned mines without liability risks and that would require the permit-holder to meet approved standards and requirements, but would terminate upon completion of clean-up.