Heck's Three Kids Mine Bill Passes House

Jul 22, 2013 Issues: Economy and Jobs

Clean up of abandoned mine will create jobs, improve local economy

WASHINGTON - As part of his continued focus on jobs and the local economy, Congressman Joe Heck (NV-03) today applauded House passage of H.R. 697, the Three Kids Mine Remediation and Reclamation Act.  The bill provides an innovative public-private partnership solution to finally clean up the abandoned Three Kids Mine site at no cost to federal taxpayers. H.R. 697 directs the Secretary of the Interior to convey federal lands at the site to the City of Henderson for clean up and redevelopment purposes. Once the land is conveyed, the City of Henderson's Redevelopment Agency will enter into a binding consent agreement with a private developer that will be responsible to clean up, remediate, and reclaim the abandoned Three Kids Mine site in an environmentally safe manner. The private developer will then be able to redevelop the land for commercial and residential use. It is estimated that the clean up and development of the Three Kids Mine site could create as many as 3,000 jobs over the life of the project. The entire Nevada House delegation voted in favor of the Three Kids Mine bill which passed the House by voice vote.

"The abandoned Three Kids Mine has been an unsightly, dangerous area in Henderson long enough," Rep. Joe Heck said. "This bill will make the area safer for residents and bring economic development opportunities to the City of Henderson at no cost to federal taxpayers. This innovative type of public-private partnership could serve as a viable model for the cleanup and reclamation of other similar sites across the country. I'm pleased the House has passed this bill in an overwhelming bipartisan vote and hope the Senate moves its version forward."  

Councilwoman Gerri Schroder, who represents Ward 1 on the Henderson City Council and has been a proponent of the bill, applauded the bill's passage. “We greatly appreciate the hard work and dedication of Congressman Heck and all our Congressional delegation on this important piece of legislation,” said Henderson City Councilwoman Gerri Schroder.  “ The passage of this bill moves us one step closer to the eventual remediation of a badly contaminated area that has been a blight on our region for far too long.”    

Rep. Heck urged his colleagues to support the bill in a speech on the House floor. Click the image below to see the full video.

Rep. Heck introduced H.R. 697 in February. Senators Harry Reid and Dean Heller introduced the companion legislation in the Senate.

BACKGROUND:

* The Three Kids Mine site is a 1,260 acre abandoned manganese mine and mill site located along the south side of Lake Mead Drive, across the highway from Lake Las Vegas, in Henderson.

* The bill directs the Secretary of the Interior to convey the Federal lands at the project site – approximately 948 acres – at fair market value taking into account the costs of investigating and remediating the entire site, which includes an additional 314 acres of now-private lands that were used historically in mine operations.

* In return for conveying the land at fair market value, the Federal Government will also receive a release of liability for cleanup of both the Federal and private lands.

* Before the Federal lands are conveyed, the State must enter into a binding consent agreement under which the cleanup of the entire project site will occur. 

* This agreement must include financial assurances to ensure the completion of the remediation and reclamation of the site.

* The cleanup will be financed with private capital and Nevada tax increment financing at no cost to the Federal government.

* H.R. 697 is the result of more than five years of work among the City of Henderson Redevelopment Agency, the Department of the Interior, the State of Nevada, and private entities.

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