There are over 500,000 abandoned hardrock mine sites in the American West where there is no responsible party to take on the cleanup. In many cases, these sites pollute streams and they continue to languish or fall to the state and federal government to maintain. Groups like Trout Unlimited or others who have no legal responsibility or connection to the project - true Good Samaritans - are interested in tackling some of these issues, but are deterred from doing so due to the incredible liability risks.
By passing Good Samaritan legislation, Congress can provide such protections for organizations like Trout Unlimited while also holding good samaritans accountable to terms of their permits.
Trout Unlimited is actively involved in abandoned mine cleanup efforts in Colorado, Montana, Washington and other places in the West. In Pennsylvania, where state policies provide for reasonable liability protections, TU and watershed groups are actively involved in dozens of clean up projects on abandoned coal mine sites. A federal Good Samaritan policy is needed to allow for those efforts to expand.
For questions related to this action alert, please contact Corey Fisher
, TU's Public Land Policy Director or send a note to the Government Affairs Team