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Dec 1, 7:36 PM EST

US officials drop mining cleanup rule after industry objects



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BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) -- President Donald Trump's administration is dropping a proposal that would have forced mining companies to prove they have the financial wherewithal to clean up their pollution.

Friday's announcement from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency comes after industry groups and Western-state Republicans pushed back against the proposal first made under former President Barack Obama.

The U.S. mining industry has a long history of abandoning contaminated sites, leaving taxpayers to foot the bill for cleanups. Thousands of abandoned mines leak contaminated water into rivers, streams and other waterways, including hundreds of cases in which the EPA has intervened.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said in a statement that modern industry practices and state and federal rules already in place adequately address the risks from hard-rock mining.

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