Summary: H.R.4323 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.4323. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in House (01/06/2016)

Abandoned Mine Reclamation Safety Act

This bill directs the Department of the Interior to promulgate regulations for the safe and environmentally responsible reopening of abandoned mines in order to facilitate the cleanup or remediation of conditions at them.

Such regulations shall:

  • apply to both coal and noncoal mines;
  • ensure that an abandoned mine is reopened in a manner that protects the safety of workers involved in the reopening, and minimizes the risk of a blowout or other uncontrolled release of water into the environment;
  • require development of emergency response and notification plans before reopening any abandoned mine that poses a risk of such an uncontrolled release of water;
  • provide for the long-term care and maintenance of hardrock mine bulkheads;
  • require approval of reopening plans by a professional engineer; and
  • incorporate recommendations from the Bureau of Reclamation report titled "Technical Evaluation of the Gold King Mine Incident San Juan County, Colorado," and dated October 2015.

Interior may seek to arrange with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to study best practices for reopening abandoned mines in order to facilitate cleanup or remediation, and recommend related regulatory and legislative action.

Interior shall initiate a program to identify and regularly monitor known surface and underground abandoned mine sites and features posing the highest risk of an inadvertent release of water into the environment.