A coalition of Native American tribes and environmental activists are petitioning the federal government for stricter regulations on metals mining and more support for e-scrap recycling.
The group sent a petition in September to the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI), which regulates mining activities. The petition asks the department to draft and pass new regulations on hardrock mining on public lands to protect the environment and human health.
“Building a sustainable economy based on clean energy gives us an historic opportunity to confront the legacy of injustice to Indigenous communities and damage to the public lands held in trust for all Americans,” the petition states. “Seizing that opportunity requires policies that prioritize metals recycling and reuse over new mining. Where new mining is acceptable, the mining industry must undertake the most responsible methods. And for DOI, this means promulgating and finalizing new hardrock mining rules.”
The Biden administration suggested updates to mining regulations in a supply chain report the White House issued in June. That document also emphasized the importance of boosting metals recycling to create resilient supply chains.
The Arizona Republic wrote an in-depth article on the new petition, quoting e-scrap industry sources on how recycling can reduce the need for new mines. Those sources included Craig Boswell of HOBI International, Billy Johnson of the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) and Jeffrey Spangenberger of the ReCell Center, a federal battery recycling R&D center.
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