Mark Udall, who serves on the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, welcomed the Senate's vote today to confirm Gina McCarthy as the next head of the Environmental Protection Agency. Udall, a staunch protector of Colorado's land, water and air, received a commitment from McCarthy to ensure the EPA effectively implements a recent guideline Udall championed to help so-called Good Samaritans clean abandoned mine sites and protect Colorado's waterways.
"The EPA has an import role to play in improving Colorado's air and water quality and to keep our families safe," Udall said. "I look forward to working with Gina McCarthy in her new role to protect Colorado's air quality and waterways, including partnering on an issue I have championed for years -- giving Good Samaritans the legal assurances they need to clean abandoned mine sites."
Udall, who serves on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, has been one of the leading voices in Congress on cleaning up and remediating abandon mine sites since he joined Congress in 1999. Last December, the EPA heeded his calls to issue a new policy to give groups additional protections as they help clean up the more than 7,000 abandoned hard rock mine sites located in Colorado and thousands more throughout the West.
Udall also has been a strong proponent of the EPA's work to improve air quality across Colorado and its recently unveiled State Implementation Plan to reduce regional haze pollution in Colorado's national parks and wilderness areas.