EPA eases regulations on mining industry - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

EPA eases regulations on mining industry

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Environmental groups are criticizing the Environmental Protection Agency for easing rules on the mining industry. Earlier this month, the Trump administration announced that it would not require mining companies to set aside money for mine cleanup before they start digging. That was the gist of a draft rule put in place during the final days of the Obama administration.

"I'm more than just disappointed," said Steve Brittle, who is the president of the environmental group, Don't Waste Arizona. Brittle has monitored mine pollution in Arizona and says it is a serious health concern.

You can read about what CBS 5 Investigates found when we tested soil and water samples near abandoned mines around the state by clicking here.

Brittle worries that the move by the Trump administration will shift the burden of cleaning up future mining sites to state taxpayers.

"What it really means is that we're not making these companies show that they even have the capacity to clean up something in case something goes wrong," said Brittle.

The news release from the EPA announcing the new measure quoted Arizona Governor Doug Ducey. "Arizona already has financial responsibility protections in place for hard rock mines and does not need a duplicative federal program that will unnecessarily burden a key Arizona industry," stated Ducey.

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Morgan  LoewMorgan Loew is an investigative reporter at CBS 5 News. His career has taken him to every corner of the state, lots of corners in the United States, and some far-flung corners of the globe.

Click to learn more about Morgan .

Morgan Loew
CBS 5 Investigates

Morgan’s past assignments include covering the invasion of Iraq, human smuggling in Mexico, vigilantes on the border and Sheriff Arpaio in Maricopa County. His reports have appeared or been featured on CBS News, CNN, NBC News, MSNBC and NPR.

Morgan’s peers have recognized his work with 11 Rocky Mountain Emmy Awards , two regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for investigative reporting, an SPJ First Amendment Award and a commendation from the Humane Society of the United States. Last fall, Morgan was inducted into the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Silver Circle, in recognition of 25 years of contribution to the television industry in Arizona.

Morgan is a graduate of the University of Arizona journalism school and Concord Law School. He is the president of the Arizona First Amendment Coalition and teaches media law and TV news reporting at ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

When he’s not out looking for the next big news story, Morgan enjoys hiking, camping, cheering for the Arizona Wildcats and spending time with his family at their southern Arizona ranch.

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