October 31, 2015--Tipton seeks buy-in for bill to streamline mine cleanup (Montrose Press)

Spurred in part by the August environmental disaster that sent three million gallons of mine wastewater spilling down the Animas River, U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton is crafting legislation to address contamination at inactive mines. Tipton is still eyeing a “Good Samaritan” bill that would clear the way for private groups whose members work to clean up abandoned mines. Liability risks discourage would-be cleanup groups from tackling the contaminated mines. Such legislation has been floated before, including by Tipton, who in 2013 joined then-U.S. Sen. Mark Udall’s efforts to secure a Good Samaritan law. To overcome obstacles, any new legislation needs buy-in from both parties, as well as detailed input from affected communities, Tipton said in a statement. “Cleaning up these sites is critically important, especially to the people of Colorado’s 3rd District, where many of the mines are located,” he said. “Introducing a bill that stands little chance of passing both the House and Senate — despite having good ideas in it — will not get the people and resources into the mines to execute cleanup efforts.” The legislation has yet to be written. Tipton is working with the Senate and stakeholders. Once an agreed-upon draft is created, it will be introduced, Tipton spokesman Joshua Green said. “We’re optimistic that will be soon,” he said. To view the full article visit the Montrose Press.