No protection for Good Samaritans just yet
By Tori Sheets, firstname.lastname@example.org
Abandoned mines will not clean themselves, but neither will third party groups when they can be held responsible for the environmental damage given off by the mines as soon as they start cleaning them.
No laws protect these groups known as Good Samaritans, who are non-profit organizations, state agencies or watershed groups in Colorado. This lack of protection leaves Good Samaritan groups open to lawsuits and responsibility for the repercussions of pollutants given off by the mines they are attempting to clean.
The federal Clean Water Act says the owners of a property containing a mine, the “potentially responsible party,” are liable for managing any water pollution caused by the mine. Many times, however, the responsible party is nonexistent after mining companies go out of business and abandon their mines.
The Uncompahgre Watershed Partnership is one such nonprofit group working in Ouray County. continued…
Read the full article: OurayPlaindealer-20160121
Read the online version (full article only with subscription to the Ouray Plaindealer): No protection, Jan. 21, 2016