People living in a Kansas town contaminated for decades by abandoned lead and zinc mines could finally be getting a break.
Both chambers of Congress on Thursday approved legislation to give the Environmental Protection Agency the authority to buy out Treece, Kan., and relocate its residents.
The legislation, added to an appropriations bill, is expected to be signed into law by the president by Saturday.
Estimates say it will cost about $3 million to $3.5 million to buy out Treece, which is surrounded by huge piles of mining waste called chat and dotted with uncapped shafts and cave-ins filled with brackish, polluted water.
Sen. Pat Roberts, a Kansas Republican, said he has been in contact with EPA officials and expects a buyout announcement "in weeks, not months."
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