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“As public health risks grow due to climate change and associated water scarcity, Congress is shrinking from its duty to protect the public. The latest example of this irresponsibility came today when the House of Representatives passed The Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2017 (HR 5338) which is laden with provisions that put taxpayers, the public and our environment at risk”. These provisions include:

  • An amendment by Congressman Lamborn (R-CO) to prohibit the Bureau of Land Management  from implementing the rule that will govern hydraulic fracturing on public and Indian lands.
    • “This ill-advised amendment blocks the Bureau of Land Management from enacting common sense standards to better protect our nation’s public lands and water from fracking. There is currently a court-ordered stay on this rule, which is likely to be overturned on appeal to the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.”
  • Language that would block the Environmental Protection Agency from exercising its CERCLA 108(b) mandate to protect taxpayers from the multi-billion dollar costs associated with the cleanup of metal mines and other heavy industry.
    • “EPA’s rules would require metal mining polluters to post real financial guarantees, up front, that would cover multi-billion dollar mine cleanup costs so taxpayers don’t have to. Representatives Becerra (CA), Pallone (NJ), Lowenthal (CA), and Roybal-Allard (CA) offered an amendment to strip the bill language that would block these overdue rules, but it did not pass.”
  • Language that would prohibit both the Bureau of Land Management and Environmental Protection Agency from promulgating or implementing rules to control methane waste and pollution from oil and gas operations.
    • “EPA's methane rule and BLM's waste rule are smart policies that will reduce the oil and industry’s pollution of greenhouse gases, hazardous air toxics, and smog-forming VOCs, while reducing the amount of natural gas it wastes.
    • Representatives Polis (CO), DeGette (CO), Cartwright (PA), Lowenthal (CA), Sarbanes (MD), Huffman (CA), Lujan Grisham (NM), DeGette (CO) joined together to offer two failed amendments to strike language from HR 5538 that would block the BLM and EPA rules.”
  • An amendment by Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) preventing EPA’s common sense proposal to monitor groundwater at in-situ leach uranium operations.
    • “Increasingly common in-situ leach uranium mining contaminates, by design, groundwater resources with uranium and other harmful pollutants like arsenic. Aquifers polluted from in situ leaching never become restored to pre-mining conditions. This amendment is an affront to public health and safety.”