Thursday, August 20, 2015

EPA Causes Colorado Mine Spill

Written by Tyler R. Etter

On August 5, 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency was conducting an investigation of the Gold King Mine located near Silverton, Colorado. The investigation was meant to assess the water being released from the mine, treat the water, and assess the feasibility of further actions. While excavating near the area, three million gallons of polluted water spilled into Cement Creek.

The spill has caused the shutdown of major irrigation sources for local farmers, giving rise to lawsuits against the Agency. The Agency has deployed staff members across the state in an effort to assess the extent of contamination, and address citizen concerns. According to the latestAgency update, sediment concentrations in samples from irrigation ditches are “trending toward pre-event conditions.”

Don Shawcroft, President of the Colorado Farm Bureau, criticized the Agency for a lack of transparency at the outset of the incident, stating “How are citizens supposed to trust the EPA to protect our waters when it ignores standard waste management protocols and the citizens their actions affect?”

As of August 18, a local recovery center has been formed in La Plata County. The center will assist with filing claims for damages against the Agency, as well as information resources for water quality, business impacts, and local financial and social support.

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