Lummis Resurrects Trump-era Western-Focused Office

March 11, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) joined U.S. Senator Mark Kelly (D-AZ) in introducing the Legacy Mine Cleanup Act, a bipartisan effort to codify the Trump administration’s Office of Mountains, Deserts and Plains within the Environmental Protection Agency. This legislation is important to Wyoming communities, as it will ensure decisions impacting hardrock mine cleanup out west will be made in collaboration with those who live and work near these mines. 

“In order to preserve Wyoming and the west’s iconic landscapes, we need to abandon the federal government’s one-size-fits-all approach and adopt region-specific solutions to preserve our western way of life,” said Lummis. “I am proud to partner with Senator Kelly to codify the Trump administration’s Office of Mountains, Deserts and Plains to forge relationships with states, tribes and localities to better support our unique ecosystems.”

Lummis introduced this legislation to ensure the federal government has an office specifically dedicated to the west focused on driving partnerships with localities. The Office of Mountains, Deserts and Plains was established in 2020 and has oversight over hardrock mines west of the Mississippi River. 

The Heritage Foundation supports efforts to ensure the Office of Mountains, Deserts and Plains is established and fully set up.

“Fortifying a conservative EPA that focuses on producing tangible environmental benefits for the American people requires coordinated leadership in the U.S. Senate. Advancing the Office of Mountains, Deserts, and Plains is a step in the right direction whereby EPA is closer to the people they serve and are most impacted by their decisions. I applaud Sen. Lummis for her leadership in addressing legacy pollution in a responsible way,” said Mandy Gunasekara, Visiting Fellow for the Center for Energy, Climate and Environment at The Heritage Foundation and Former EPA Chief of Staff.

For text of the legislation, click here