Issues of concern to people who live in the west: property rights, water rights, endangered species, livestock grazing, energy production, wilderness and western agriculture. Plus a few items on western history, western literature and the sport of rodeo... Frank DuBois served as the NM Secretary of Agriculture from 1988 to 2003. DuBois is a former legislative assistant to a U.S. Senator, a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Interior, and is the founder of the DuBois Rodeo Scholarship.
Friday, January 13, 2017
EPA says it can't pay economic damages from mine spill
The Environmental Protection Agency announced Friday it will not repay claims totaling more than $1.2 billion for economic damages from a mine waste spill the agency accidentally triggered in Colorado, saying the law prohibits it.
The EPA said the claims could be refiled in federal court, or Congress could authorize payments.
But attorneys for the EPA and the Justice Department concluded the EPA is barred from paying the claims because of sovereign immunity, which prohibits most lawsuits against the government.The EPA said it has spent more than $31.3 million on the spill, including remediation work, water testing and payments to state, local and tribal agencies.
A total of 73 claims were filed, some by farmers who lost crops or had to haul water because rivers polluted by the spill were temporarily unusable for irrigation and livestock. Rafting companies and their employees sought lost income and wages because they couldn't take visitors on river trips. Some homeowners sought damages because they said their wells were affected.The EPA said it has spent more than $31.3 million on the spill, including remediation work, water testing and payments to state, local and tribal agencies...more
Congress can waive sovereign immunity. Or they could cut EPA's budget by whatever amount it takes to satisfy the claims