The Women’s Mining Coalition announces its 24th annual Fly-In to Washington D.C., to be held on April 17-21, 2016. Recognizing the vital importance of advocacy, WMC has been taking the message of the necessity of a robust domestic mining industry to our nation’s leaders in Washington D.C. since 1993. WMC delivers the message to our legislators that a strong mining industry is vitally important to our nation, our communities, our families, and our livelihoods, and that today’s regulations and modern technologies ensure responsible stewardship of our lands. WMC facilitates and provides the opportunity for our grassroots members to band together for a stronger voice with their congressional delegation.

In April 2015, forty members of the Women’s Mining Coalition (WMC) from 16 states traveled to Washington D.C. for its 23rd annual Fly-In for meetings on Capitol Hill. The women work in the hardrock, coal and industrial minerals industries and for companies that provide goods and services to mining companies. Since its inception in 1993, WMC has made annual trips to Washington, DC to advocate for an actively healthy U.S. mining industry and to discuss issues of importance to the domestic mining industry with members of Congress and Congressional staff.

The 2015 Fly-In focused on building support for Congressman Amodei’s National Strategic and Critical Minerals Act of 2015 and the Stewart-Gardner Greater Sage-Grouse Protection and Conservation Act, S. 1036. As a result of the WMC meetings, additional co-sponsorships were obtained for both bills.

WMC members also brought clarity to the concerns of administrative over-reach on issues like carbon emissions and ozone rules by the EPA and the stream buffer zone rule by the Office of Surface Mining. EPA CERCLA 108(b) financial assurance rulemaking was discussed with Hill staffers and members; such rulemaking is duplicative and unnecessary. WMC Fly-In participants asked members to support Congressman Gosar’s H.R 594 “Waters of the United States Regulatory Overreach Protection Act of 2015”, which addresses concerns and uncertainties caused by the proposed rule (Definition of Waters of the United States’ Under the Clean Water Act.

The 2015 WMC Fly-In efforts yielded 228 face-to-face meetings with Congressional offices and in 32 cases, meetings with elected officials themselves. Additionally, 76 drop-off information packets were distributed to offices where schedules conflicted and personal meetings were not possible. WMC continues to bring insight to the importance of modern mining, to advocate for a strong and productive domestic mining industry, and to showcase the professionalism of women who work in the mining industry.

Nicole Preuss, WMC President, noted “The timeliness of the 2015 WMC Fly-In cannot be overstated. The Fly-In participants were able to highlight the importance of numerous bills being introduced in Congress. This talented group of women personify modern mining with their professionalism and dedication to advocating for a strong domestic mining industry.”

Informed representatives from both industry and government advise the mining industry as a whole to embrace the challenge of advocating for a healthy U.S. mining industry and to partner with other stakeholders throughout the mining supply chain. The WMC annual Fly-In offers our members and supporters the chance to do just this, and in the process have the opportunity to network with other women who work in all facets of the mining industry.

Women’s Mining Coalition invites our members and supporters to participate in the upcoming 2016 Fly-In, scheduled for the week of April 18th, during which we will meet with members of Congress and their staff, telling mining’s story and speaking about our own individual experiences within the mining industry. Contact Lynne Volpi at info@wmc-usa.org for more information.

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