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November 24, 2014

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Land deal to clean up Three Kids mine site passes House

The House of Representatives passed a bill to permit the sale of hundreds of acres of public lands to the City of Henderson Monday, in an effort to clean up the toxic waste site at Three Kids Mine.

The bill was approved by voice vote – meaning no one in the House of Representatives objected to passing the legislation.

The Three Kids Mine is an abandoned manganese mine and mill site near Lake Las Vegas that lies within the borders of Henderson, but has been difficult to clean up because much of the 1,260 acres is federal land.

Nevada Rep. Joe Heck, who introduced the bill, argued that left as is, the site is a dangerous and toxic eyesore, while a reclamation effort would improve the land value, create jobs, and spur economic development.

“[The bill] is an innovative public-private partnership solution to finally clean up the abandoned Three Kids mine site,” Heck said Monday afternoon, while listing the site's various horrors, including waste mounds ten stories high, and toxic waste water pits 60 feet deep.

Under the terms of the agreement, Nevada has to make a deal with the federal government to clean up the entire site. It would be financed with private capital and Nevada tax-increment financing.

The entire Nevada delegation backs this bill, and Sens. Harry Reid and Dean Heller have already introduced companion legislation in the Senate.

The agreement was that the House of Representatives would move first on the Three Kids Mine legislation before the Senate tried to press ahead.

“The clean up of this land is a top priority,” Nevada Rep. Dina Titus said Monday.

“Passing the bill [in the House] today will help provide momentum for next week’s hearing,” Heller said in a statement.

The Senate bill is pending before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources committee, which has scheduled a hearing on the legislation for next Tuesday.

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