National Parks Conservation Association Praises House Passage of Bill to Halt New Mining Activity That Would Impair National Parks

 
PRESS RELEASE
  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date:   November 1, 2007
Contact:   Bryan Faehner, NPCA, 202-223-6722, extension 155


National Parks Conservation Association Praises House Passage of Bill to Halt New Mining Activity That Would Impair National Parks

Legislation Protects America's National Park Heritage

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The nation’s leading voice for the national parks, the National Parks Conservation Association, today praised the U.S. House for passing H.R. 2262, The Hardrock Mining and Reclamation Act of 2007, sponsored by Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.VA.), which will prohibit the permitting of new mines that would impair neighboring national parks and monuments.

“The American public understands that our national parks are more precious than gold,” said National Parks Conservation Association President Tom Kiernan. “We appreciate Rep. Rahall’s leadership, and the support of the House, in recognizing the value of our national parks. We now call on the Senate to help protect national parks and monuments from new mining claims once and for all.”

Mining has been found to be a leading source of toxic pollution according to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Toxics Release Inventory, and thus endangers the overall ecological health of the parks. It also is a severe threat to rivers, air quality, wildlife habitat, native plants, and the inspiring scenic views found in the parks.

The Federal Government has taken action in the past to halt mining claims harmful to national parks. In 1996, the government paid $65 million in a buyout package to protect Yellowstone National Park from a mining operation proposed nearby. Costs today would be significantly higher.

"By prohibiting the permitting of mines in locations that would impair national parks and national monuments, H.R. 2262 protects America’s national park heritage—and the American taxpayer," Kiernan said.

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