Who pays for cleanup after contamination?
In most cases, you do! (see articles below verifying that fact)
The American taxpayer foots the bill to cleanup the mess. Often companies, who say they are using "best management practices," create a problem that -- with uranium, could last 4.5 Billion years into the future -- then these companies claim bankruptcy, and we end up footing the bill. And no one branch of government combines all these costs so that we can be told the truth about how much we are spending on cleaning up after contamination has occurred to our soil and water. With so much stimulus money going toward cleanup and in the interest of transparency: Doesn't the American Taxpayer have a right to now how much they are contributing by way of cleanup of abandoned mines?! The Department of Energy cleans up waste from the cold war era. EPA cleans up superfund sites. One thing is for sure, the few jobs that the Uranium industry creates doesn't come anywhere close to the dollar amount that the people pay to clean up after contamination has occurred.
Splitting out cleanup costs makes it extremely hard to know the totality of what the American taxpayer has contributed to cleanup caused by faulty practices, weak regulations, and insufficient surety bonds. The polluter should pay? Right? However, in most cases we pay because enough money is not guaranteed by these companies before they pollute. We need to change this situation and ask for your help!
We would like to compile those numbers to take to our elected officials.
Please submit, by email, costs that you find in articles and government budgets so that we can begin the process of transparency that our governement doesn't display in a way that shows the total dollar amount that cleanup has cost the taxpayer.
Uranium plant buildings to be torn down
WASHINGTON -- Three idle buildings at the Paducah uranium plant will be decontaminated and demolished under a special $79 million project paid for out of the federal economic stimulus program.
DOE Has Spent $823 Million on the Paducah Cleanup Program, and Billions More Will be Required for Final Site Closure. "...constructing storage and other facilities, and carrying out activities related to litigation; $298 million (36 percent) was spent on cleanup actions, including waste removal and treatment; and $153 million (19 percent) was spent on studies to assess the contamination and determine what cleanup actions were necessary. These percentages are similar to those DOE’s Office of Environmental Management found for all of its cleanup programs: only about one-third of the environmental management program budget goes toward actual cleanup and risk reduction work, with the remainder going to maintenance, fixed costs, and miscellaneous activities, contributing to a lack of risk reduction and raising costs for DOE’s cleanups.5''
Cleanup of historic Uravan uranium mill completed
WHO PAYS FOR ABANDONED MINE CLEANUP? AGAIN, IT FALLS ON THE AMERICAN TAXPAYER
"....The reform bill requires reclamation bonds with clear cleanup standards, so that taxpayers will be better protected. Due to inadequate bonds, potential taxpayer cleanup liability for operating mines could exceed $12 billion. "
read more... www.earthworksaction.org/2007MiningReformBill.cfm
ECONOMIC RECOVERY BILLS CREATES JOBS THROUGH MINE CLEANUP
Feb 14 -- Thanks in part to your action the economic recovery plan contains as much as $1.5 billion dollars for abandoned mine cleanup throughout the United States. These projects will generate thousands of new jobs and improve public and community health around the country. read more...www.earthworksaction.org/us_program.cfm
$32 Billion to clean up abandoned hardrock mines
"The General Mining Law of 1872 promotes the development of western lands. The law waives royalties on extracted minerals and sells public land at between $2.50 and $5.00 per acre to mining corporations. This unfettered giveaway has left behind more than half a million abandoned hardrock mines that will cost taxpayers a conservatively-estimated $32 billion to clean up.
To update this relic, Congressman Nick Rahall has introduced The Hardrock Mining and Reclamation Act of 2009, H.R. 699. The bill would: End the giveaway of public lands; Require a minimal 8% royalty on net smelter return; Require the hard rock mining industry to comply with basic environmental reclamation standards; Create a fund to reclaim and restore land and water resources harmed by past mineral activities; Requiring the mining industry to pay for the cleanup of its own mess; Allow the public to retain ownership over the land leased to mining companies and protect it from unreasonable degradation." read more...www.worc.org/Hardrock-mining/
Western Organization of Resource Councils is helping to support hardrock mining law reform.
Other Cleanup Costs
Clean up costs
Slick Rock ………………..50M
Grand Junction …………..504M