A bill to help to help New Mexico complete high priority uranium mine cleanup projects has cleared an initial hurdle in Washington.
Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich say their bill was endorsed by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Thursday and now heads to the full Senate.
The bill by the two New Mexico Democrats would amend federal law to give states and tribes the ability to apply existing funds for coal-related cleanup efforts to non-coal mine reclamation, including hundreds of abandoned uranium mines throughout New Mexico and the Navajo Nation.
The legislation would also allow all the funds to be used to seal tunnels and entryways of coal and non-coal mines, as well as for acid mine drainage abatement and treatment.