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States Support EPA Decision To Not Place Federal Rules On Hardrock Mining
Nevada joins Arizona and 12 other states in asking the Environmental Protection Agency to keep the federal government out of regulation over the hardrock mining industry.
On June 15, the Idaho Conservation League, the Sierra Club, the Great Basin Resource Watch of Nevada and other environmental interest groups sued the EPA and its administrator, Scott Pruitt, to intervene in a matter they say requires federal regulation.
The request stems from 2009 when the EPA began reviewing hardrock mining nationwide, considering whether additional regulatory requirements were needed at the federal level, as a consistent, nationwide environmental control, over and above state regulatory efforts.
In February of this year, under Scott Pruitt, the EPA said no such intervention is needed at the federal level, leaving all monitoring and governance to take place at the state level.
Environmental interest groups have sued the EPA in federal court, asking for the federal agency's involvement. Fourteen states, along with some state regulatory agencies including the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality and the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department, support Administrator Pruitt and the current EPA decision.