WASHINGTON (AP) -- Tens of thousands of abandoned hardrock mines, many was old as the 19th century, could get an economic boost for cleanup efforts with the economic stimulus bill awaiting President Barack Obama's signature.
The bill expected to be signed Tuesday contains more than $1.5 billion for construction and maintenance projects in the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service and Forrest Service. That includes addressing pollution and safety hazards caused by abandoned mines on public lands in Alaska and 11 other western states, plus South Dakota.
There is no guarantee the money will go to mine cleanup, but environmentalist say that can be a job-generator.
Anti-tax groups question whether mine clean up merits any money at all, and say that's unlikely to benefit the economy in the long term.