DeFazio tours abandoned mine Superfund site

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Updated: 4/17/2014 11:02 pm

RIDDLE, Ore. (AP) — U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio has toured an abandoned copper mine in southwestern Oregon that is on the Superfund list of major pollution sites in preparation for filing legislation to overhaul the nation's primary mining law.

DeFazio says the Thursday tour of the Formosa Mine outside Riddle illustrates what is wrong about the 1872 Mining Act: the Canadian companies that reopened the mine in the 1990s have disappeared; the bond put up for cleanup was a fraction of what is needed to clean it up, and the federal government never got a penny in royalties.

DeFazio acknowledges the bill has little chance of passage this year in the Republican-controlled House, but says he wants to raise awareness about how the current system costs taxpayers billions of dollars.

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