The proposal was one of three bills the House Natural Resources Committee announced Thursday after 3 million gallons of wastewater spilled from an inactive Colorado gold mine in August, contaminating rivers in Colorado, New Mexico and Utah.
The measure is intended to encourage cleanups by limiting the liability of groups that try to help. Previous attempts at similar laws failed.
A second bill would allow the federal Bureau of Land Management and nonprofits to solicit donations to clean up abandoned mines and oil and gas wells.
The third would funnel more money to train mining engineers and other technical experts.