In D.C. District Court in January this year, The U.S. Court of Appeals ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to finalize long-awaited “financial assurance” regulations that will apply first to hard rock mining operations. The court recognized that it is common practice for operators of hazardous sites to avoid expensive liabilities by going bankrupt, leaving taxpayers with the bill.

Had this order been in place (it’s been in the works since ’83), the mess at the Anaconda Mine near Yerington might have been cleaned up years ago.

The case was brought by Earthjustice, a national nonprofit environmental law firm, on behalf of GBRW, Idaho Conservation League, Earthworks, Sierra Club, Amigo Bravos and Communities for a Better Environment.

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