Contact: Matt Dempsey 202-224-9797

Washington, D.C.-Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the Committee on Environment and Public Works, introduced today, by request, President Bush's “Good Samaritan Clean Watershed Act” to help facilitate the cleanup of abandoned hard-rock mines and improve our nation’s environment.

“I am pleased to introduce the “Good Samaritan Clean Watershed Act” at the request of the Administration,” Senator Inhofe said. “President Bush’s proposal incorporates key components of the Administration’s successful Cooperative Conservation Initiative that brings stakeholders together to work to improve our nation’s environment. The President’s proposal, similar to the bi-partisan legislation sponsored by Senators Allard and Salazar pending before the Committee, ensures that communities, industry partners, non-profit organizations and individuals will not be penalized for their good deeds in seeking to clean up abandoned hard-rock mines and improve environmental quality.

“Too often, liability concerns have prevented Good Samaritans, who have not contributed to the mining waste, from cleaning up the abandoned mining sites and restoring neighboring waterbodies. Both proposals before the Committee address those liability concerns.

“I look forward to working with the Administration and my colleagues from Colorado, Senators Allard and Salazar, on this important initiative. With the Administration's bill and the Allard-Salazar bi-partisan bill, now is the time to pass legislation that will help promote and facilitate the cleanup of the estimated 500,000 abandoned hard-rock mines that litter our country.”