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NORTHWEST MINING ASSOCIATION: MINERS APPLAUD STATE ENVIRONMENTAL AGENCY

 SPOKANE, Wash., Nov. 30 ~PRNewswire~ -- The public will have its say about changes proposed by the Washington State Department of Ecology to enhance its comprehensive dangerous waste regulations that effect all industries in the state including mining, the Northwest Mining Association (NWMA) said today. Four workshops scheduled by the state start this week on Dec. 1 in Spokane, the site of this week's 98th annual NWMA meeting.
 Marsall Koval, NWMA president, took time out from meeting preparations to applaud the workshop process. "Starting with public input allows the Department of Ecology to make better use of its staff resources, since any revisions to these already-effective regulations will focus on the few areas that truly may need to be revised."
 The approach taken by the department is expected to result in practical rules that are less costly for the state to administer, while providing the level of environmental safeguards that the public desires. In the past, both state and federal agencies have expended significant amounts of their limited budgets to draft proposals without citizen input, only to find out they have not met the expectations of the public. Agencies then had to start over after finding out how citizens feel a program should be managed.
 "In an age of huge state budget deficits and worldwide competitive pressure on Washington businesses, none of us can afford to continue to do things as we have in the past," said Reese Hastings with Asamera Minerals, operator of the Cannon Mine in Wenatchee, Wash. "Agencies and industry must become more efficient in developing and implementing environmental programs so we achieve the desired results at the lowest possible cost."
 Ivan Urnovitz, NWMA government relations manager, agreed, "Our society can better manage environmental costs if we move away from confrontation and towards collaboration. Hopefully, as the nation's environmental ethic matures, fewer special interest groups will feel the need to intentionally foster controversy to raise money or for strictly political reasons." Urnovitz cited the Alar scare of 1989 and the devastating economic effects to Washington apple growers, who have still not fully recovered, as a good example of such problems.
 "We look forward to working constructively with the department of improve a program that is working very adequately, so that it is less expensive for the state to administer and easier for industry to implement without diminishing public confidence," Hastings said.
 Additional workshops will be held by the Department of Ecology in Pasco, Wash., on Dec. 2 and in Vancouver, Wash., and Seattle on Dec. 8 and 9.
 -0- 11~30~92
 ~CONTACT: Deborah Conway of the Northwest Mining Association, 509-624-1951~


CO: Northwest Mining Association; Washington State Department of
 Ecology ST: Washington IN: MNG SU:


LM-JH -- SE018 -- 2162 11~30~92 20:36 EST
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Date:Nov 30, 1992
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