AnimasRiver: Deadline for comments on Superfund status passes

On April 7, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed adding the “Bonita Peak Mining District” to the National Priorities List, making it eligible for Superfund. Forty-eight mine portals and tailings piles are “under consideration” to be included. The Gold King Mine will almost certainly be on the final list, as will the nearby American Tunnel. The Mayflower Mill #4 tailings repository, just outside Silverton, is another likely candidate, given that it appears to be leaching large quantities of metals into the Animas River. What Superfund will entail for the area beyond that, and when the actual cleanup will begin, remains unclear. Eric Baker
On April 7, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed adding the “Bonita Peak Mining District” to the National Priorities List, making it eligible for Superfund. Forty-eight mine portals and tailings piles are “under consideration” to be included. The Gold King Mine will almost certainly be on the final list, as will the nearby American Tunnel. The Mayflower Mill #4 tailings repository, just outside Silverton, is another likely candidate, given that it appears to be leaching large quantities of metals into the Animas River. What Superfund will entail for the area beyond that, and when the actual cleanup will begin, remains unclear.
Eric Baker

From the Associated Press via The Fort Collins Coloradoan:

Time is up for people to comment on a proposed Superfund cleanup for leaking mines in southwestern Colorado, and not many have spoken up.

A few hours before the Monday deadline, 34 people had submitted comments

to the Environmental Protection Agency on the planned Bonita Peak Mining District Superfund site.

The site would include the Gold King Mine north of Silverton, which released 3 million gallons of acidic waste into Colorado, New Mexico and Utah rivers last August.

A finally tally on comments is expected later Tuesday.

The low number of comments came as a surprise after years of controversy over a Superfund site. Some worried it would hurt the region’s tourist economy or give the federal government too much power over local affairs.

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