Yerington lands bill clears house, heads for Senate |

Yerington lands bill clears house, heads for Senate

Legislation ceding 10,500 acres of federal land to the city of Yerington cleared the House of Representatives Tuesday.

Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Nev., sponsor of the legislation, told the members in a floor speech there is no downside to the transfer.

“There are no mining issues, no cleanup issues, surface and groundwater issues,” he said. “None of those issues at all.”

On top of that, he said, Yerington will pay fair market value for the land adjoining the city.

What it will do, he said, is enable development of the Nevada Copper Pumpkin Hollow mine project that will eventually create 800 high paying mining jobs in Lyon County.

“This is about responsible multiple use of public resources that gores no one’s ox,” Amodei said. “We’re talking 800 jobs at no cost to the federal government.”

Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., who has sponsored a companion piece of legislation in that house, praised the vote saying the bill “is an example of how Congress can act to encourage job growth.”

The two said those jobs are critical in the county with Nevada’s highest unemployment rate.

“This legislation will create hundreds of jobs providing much-needed relief in one of Nevada’s most distressed counties,” said Heller.

The bill specifically allows Yerington to partner with Nevada Copper to develop the land for industrial and renewable energy development, recreation and open space.

Heller said it will create some 500 construction jobs by 2013 and, when in full operation, Pumpkin Hollow will employ nearly 800 workers directly.