Utah Mining Association, Enefit meet with new EPA Administrator
Scott Pruitt, recently confirmed as President Trump’s pick to lead the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, visited Utah in mid-July to seek input on a variety of issues, including a 2015 water regulation that has led to uncertainty for mining companies and other industries. EAO Head of Development and Environment, Ryan Clerico and Utah Mining Association (UMA) President Mark Compton had the opportunity to participate in a roundtable discussion with Administrator Pruitt on the Waters of the United States, or WOTUS, rule. Rikki also serves on UMA’s board of directors.
The WOTUS rule, enacted during the Obama Administration, effectively extends federal oversight to virtually all bodies of water – including seasonally dry creek beds, drainage ditches and puddles.
Farmers, miners and other interests have sought a clearer definition of waters affected by the controversial rule since it was first proposed. Administrator Pruitt, who criticized the rule during his tenure as Oklahoma’s attorney general, said he favors clarifying, and, perhaps, limiting the regulation.
The roundtable discussion also touched on a number of other issues important to UMA, EAO and the mining industry in general, including federal permitting delays, the dangerous reliance on foreign sources of minerals for the nation’s manufacturing base, energy needs and national defense, and proposed rules dealing with cleanup of closed mines.