In another major victory for professional engineers, NSPE was able to successfully incorporate a provision requiring PEs to prepare and seal engineering reports as part of all permit applications for abandoned mine lands cleanups. Abandoned mine lands have been an issue for decades. Unaddressed liability issues have prevented proper cleanup until this point. The Locatable Minerals Claim Location and Maintenance Fees Act of 2015 (H.R. 3843), finally addresses Good Samaritan remediation of abandoned mine lands and sets up a system for resolving this long-term public health, safety, and welfare issue. Although the initial version of this legislation did not require a PE, NSPE worked with the House Natural Resources Committee to include a requirement for PEs. The committee passed the bill with unanimous consent.
NSPE is now working to see if the legislation can be brought to the House floor for a vote before the end of the 114th Congress. NSPE is also working on companion Senate legislation but prospects are limited. This victory builds upon NSPE’s other recent successes to increase recognition, in both Congress and federal agencies, of the need for the licensed PE in federal projects. The Gold King Mine blowout disaster on August 5, 2015, propelled this issue to the forefront. Learn more about NSPE’s extensive efforts relating to the Gold King Mine aftermath.