Kelly Roberts

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This article begins with a description of the alarming matter of abandoned mines, mainly due to the issue of acid mine drainage. Then, it provides a detailed account of the Gold King disaster, including the current state of affairs surrounding the question of EPA liability. Next, it provides a simplified overview of some of the federal statutory hurdles that make it difficult to tackle remediation of abandoned hardrock mines. In wake of Gold King, another round of legislation has been proposed that might help, and these proposed bills center on familiar themes of reforming the General Mining Law of 1872 and providing Good Samaritan waivers to environmental regulations. The strengths, weaknesses, and difficulties of the proposed legislation are evaluated in this article. Lastly, some potential federal regulatory solutions are briefly presented.