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U.S. Sen. Mark Udall's new streamlined Good Samaritan legislation, designed to encourage volunteer water cleanup projects, may yet become law. It is the 11th piece of Good Samaritan legislation to be introduced in Congress in the last 15 years. Udall's bill, however, is drawing more support and less opposition than the previous bills, all of which failed to gain traction on Capitol Hill.
In the last 15 years, Washington lawmakers have introduced no fewer than 10 pieces of so-called Good Samaritan legislation-- the majority of those laws introduced by Colorado legislators. The legislation is designed to provide legal protection for groups who take it upon themselves to clean up toxic waste. In Colorado, that means cleaning up acid mine drainage. Why has none of the legislation passed? Good Samaritan groups say the most stringent opponents include major environmental groups with Washington lobbyists.