Saturday, February 6, 2016

Luján Statement on Pearce Gold King Mine Bill

The statement below was provided by the office of Rep. Ben Ray Lujan in response to my request for comment about Rep. Steve Pearce's Gold King Accountability Act of 2016. At 154-words the statement is too long to include in my column about Pearce's bill. The point of requesting comment was that the river pollution from the mine spill happened in Lujan's district. For reader convenience the statement is posted here.

Received February 5, 2016 via email from Monica Sanchez, a member of Rep. Lujan's Washington, D.C., staff

“The Gold King Mine spill has taken a huge toll on communities in New Mexico and on the Navajo Nation, impacting businesses, farmers, and ranchers. I am pleased that Congressman Pearce’s legislation includes provisions that are in the Gold King Mine Spill Recovery Act, which I introduced in September with New Mexico’s Senators and Congresswoman Lujan Grisham. These provisions establish an office within the EPA to provide compensation to make those impacted whole and require the agency to work with state, local, and tribal governments to ensure long-term water quality monitoring.

“While I have some concerns with Congressman Pearce’s bill, I am committed to holding the EPA accountable for this disaster. That is why I traveled to San Juan County immediately following the spill to participate in the first of a series of community meetings, met with EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy in Farmington and Durango, and have repeatedly questioned EPA officials at Congressional hearings.”

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