Nevada backs priority Superfund status for toxic mine – by Scott Sonner (Elko Daily Free Press – March 31, 2016)

Associated Press – RENO (AP) — Nevada is dropping its long-held opposition to having a World War II-era copper mine added to the priority list of the nation’s most polluted Superfund sites, Gov. Brian Sandoval said in a letter Tuesday to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Sandoval said he was reluctantly agreeing with the agency’s latest proposal, which would make $31 million available to help clean up the abandoned Anaconda mine.

The mine in Yerington, about 80 miles southeast of Reno, already is a federal Superfund site, a designation that brought federal help with containing pollution — some of it radioactive — and pinpointing its source.

Adding the site to the National Priority List would make it eligible for federal money to pay for 90 percent of the tens of millions of dollars needed to start cleanup of the most highly contaminated waste ponds.

Like his two fellow Republican predecessors, Sandoval told the EPA in recent months he wasn’t yet willing to support the listing because of continued resistance from some local businesses and community leaders. They were concerned about the stigma of Superfund status and the potential harm to property values.

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