Reid Statement on Anaconda Copper Pit Superfund Cleanup

Washington, D.C. – Nevada Senator Harry Reid released the following statement after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed Yerington’s toxic Anaconda Copper Pit be added to the Superfund National Priority List (NPL). This much-needed designation will expedite cleanup, provide a viable pathway to access otherwise unavailable additional federal funds, while protecting the long-term health of the people and the local economy. Senator Reid also called on members of Nevada’s congressional delegation to join him in urging Congressional appropriators to fully provide the $1.13 billion President Obama requested to fund cleanup at Superfund sites.

“The addition of Yerington’s Anaconda Copper Pit to the EPA’s National Priority List is important to protecting the residents of Lyon County from a significant environmental and economic burden, and I applaud the EPA for taking this step forward. Governor Sandoval also made the right decision in concurring with this important designation, as the federal government has repeatedly offered to help Nevada close the books on this abandoned cesspool of toxic substances once and for all. I am pleased to finally see state and federal officials both moving forward to get this done.

“I have spent years urging state and local officials to designate the Anaconda Copper pit a Superfund site because the stakes are so high. Doing nothing simply increases the risk of a disastrous release of toxic materials. We cannot afford to wait any longer.

“The next step is for Nevada’s congressional delegation to support strong funding for cleaning up‎ Superfund sites. I urge them to join me in these efforts and look forward to working together to finally remediate this dangerous mine and move past the decades of uncertainty it has brought the health and economy of Lyon County.”‎

Recent History of Senator Reid’s Work on Anaconda Copper Pit:

  • December 2015: Sen. Reid writes a letter to EPA 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 also urges Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval to agree to the designation.
  • December 2015: EPA gives Nevada until Jan. 29 to decide whether it agrees with a Superfund designation.
  • February 2016: Senator Reid publishes an op-ed in the Reno Gazette-Journal calling on Governor Sandoval to accept the Superfund National Priorities List designation.
  • March 2016: Governor Sandoval agrees with the EPA’s proposal to designate the Anaconda Copper Pit on the Superfund National Priority List.
  • March 2016: Senator Reid sends a letter to the Appropriations Committee supporting robust funding for the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (otherwise known as CERCLA or Superfund).
  • September 2016: EPA proposes Anaconda Copper Pit be added to the Superfund National Priority List.