Capitol Beat: New Water Bills with One Month to Go

Your Water Colorado Blog

By Larry Morandi

As the Colorado General Assembly nears its three-quarters post (adjournment is set for May 9), two new water bills have been introduced and heard in committee.

The more contentious is House Bill 18-1301, which addresses water quality impacts of mineral mining. It would require reclamation plans for new or amended hard rock mining permits to demonstrate an “end date” for water quality treatment to ensure compliance with water quality standards. The bill would also eliminate the option of “self-bonding”—an audited financial statement that the mine operator has sufficient assets to meet reclamation responsibilities—and require a bond to guarantee adequate funds to protect water quality, including treatment and monitoring costs.

At its initial hearing before the House Agriculture, Livestock & Natural Resources Committee on April 2, Representative Dylan Roberts, one of the bill’s sponsors, said it aims to “avoid creating more chronically polluting mines.” He contended that…

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