TX Mining Monthly

NMA Files Comments on EPA’s Decision Not to Impose Financial Responsibility Requirements on the Utility Sector

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The National Mining Association (NMA) last week filed comments supporting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed rule that found that the risk posed by electric power generation, transmission, and distribution facilities does not warrant financial responsibility requirements under Section 108(b) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). In evaluating this sector, EPA relied on a risk approach comparable to the one that NMA successfully advocated during the first CERCLA 108(b) rulemaking on the hardrock mining industry.

NMA’s comments focus on the decision issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upholding EPA’s final action not to impose CERCLA 108(b) financial responsibility requirements on the hardrock mining industry. EPA published its proposed rule on the electric power industry before the court ruled in this case and therefore did not account for the important precedent in this case. NMA’s comments also highlight the comprehensive regulatory framework that prevents and minimizes the risk of hazardous substance releases from the electric power industry. Finally, NMA’s comments recommend that EPA include the upward trends in recycling and beneficial use of coal ash as additional support for the agency’s proposed decision.

Beyond NMA’s comments, NMA worked with an informal coalition to broaden the number of industry stakeholders supporting EPA’s underlying risk approach. The coalition’s comments may be accessed here.

Please contact me at tbridgeford@nma.org or (202) 463-2629 if you have any questions regarding this proposed rule or NMA’s comments.


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