ANCHORAGE — Alaska, along with 13 other states, has partnered to defend the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) recent decision for no additional bonding requirements for hazardous gas release under the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA).
Alaska's Department of Law announced its actions to intervene in a May 2018 lawsuit filed by Earthjustice pertaining to the EPA's decision, which turns to state's laws for financial binding and regulatory requirements.
Alaska Attorney General Jahna Lindemuth said a "federal one-size fits all approach" is no good and that the state has a right to defend its regulation of hard rock mining.
“The federal one-size fits all approach rarely works for our unique state,” Lindemuth said in a statement. “It is in the state’s best interest to defend the EPA’s decision and retain authority over hard rock mining.”
According to the Attorney General's Office, the EPA had previously proposed new federal requirements that would have "preempted state reclamation regulations relating to financial assurances."
Also, according to the Attorney General's Office, the state explained its existing program and how the EPA's regulations would "inhibit the state's ability to adequately regulate hard rock mining in Alaska," through public comments.
"In response to these comments and similar comments from other states, the EPA decided not to impose additional bonding requirements for the release of hazardous substances under CERCLA," the Attorney General's Office said in a news release.