Las Vegas, NV – Nevada Senator Harry Reid wrote the following letter to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Regional Administrator Jared Blumenfeld expressing his support for the EPA’s proposal to designate the Anaconda Copper Mine on the Superfund National Priority List. Reid urged Governor Brian Sandoval to agree to the designation. The letter is attached:
December 27, 2015
United States Environmental Protection Agency, Region IX
75 Hawthorne Street
San Francisco, CA 94105-3901
Dear Regional Administrator Blumenfeld:
I support the Environmental Protection Agency’s recent announcement to propose designating Yerington’s contaminated Anaconda Copper Mine as a Superfund National Priority List site. This step is long overdue and one that I believe should have happened over a decade ago. I urge Governor Sandoval to agree to this designation.
The state of Nevada has wrongly resisted federal help to clean up the mine over many years and administrations. While the EPA has regulatory lead of the site and is working with other federal and state agencies, significant hurdles have remained. This is why adding the site to the National Priority List is critical. It will expedite cleanup and provide access to otherwise unavailable additional federal funds. It will also give the EPA stronger legal leverage to keep potentially responsible parties, like Atlantic Richfield Co. (ARCO) and Arimetco, at the negotiating table and working on the property. The Anaconda Copper Mine is a cesspool full of very toxic substances and they should be held financially accountable for its cleanup.
I know this designation will bring attention to the community, but we should stop acting as if denying the designation means the site poses less of a threat to the health and economy of Yerington. This path presents the best possible opportunity for this community to continue to grow its economy into the future. It is imperative the site is cleaned up as fast as humanly possible in a way that protects the long-term health of the people and the local economy while avoiding years of litigation.
This process has gone on for far too long. It is finally time to designate the Anaconda Copper Mine as a Superfund National Priority Site.
CC: Governor Brian Sandoval