Environmental organizations have filed a petition for review in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision not to issue a regulation that would have imposed federal financial responsibility requirements on certain hardrock mining facilities under Section 108 of the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA). CERCLA § 108 granted EPA authority to establish financial responsibility rules for classes of facilities. When EPA had not taken action, advocacy groups sued EPA, and in 2015, the D.C. Circuit approved a settlement that gave EPA until Dec. 1, 2017, to decide whether to issue regulations for the hardrock mining industry. In December, EPA announced that it would not issue requirements, finding that the proposed regulation was unnecessary because, in part, the degree and duration of risks associated with modern hardrock industry practices did not warrant imposing financial responsibility requirements for the hardrock mining sector.
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