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Environmental Groups Challenge Trump Mining Rule in Court

Environmental Groups Challenge Trump Mining Rule in Court

Created: May 16, 2018 01:42 PM

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - Environmental groups are challenging the Trump administration's rejection of an Obama-era rule that would have required mining companies to prove they have enough money to clean up pollution.

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The Idaho Conservation League, Earthworks and other groups on Wednesday asked the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., to review last year's move to drop the rule.

Earthjustice Attorney Amanda Goodin says the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency action leaves taxpayers responsible for pollution that fouls waterways and endangers public health.

Mining industry representatives pushed hard to kill the rule.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt agreed with their argument that modern mining poses less risk for pollution despite a legacy of taxpayer-funded mine cleanups.

Under former President Barack Obama, the agency determined the opposite - that mining pollution remains an ongoing concern.

The mining industry says it will intervene on behalf of the Trump administration in the lawsuit.

National Mining Association Vice President Ashley Burke says the proposed rule would have placed an unnecessary financial burden on companies. Burke says modern mining practices and regulations already in place sufficiently address pollution from extracting "hardrock" minerals such as copper and gold.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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