EPA Begins Southwest Colorado Mine Cleanup

Published: Friday, May 24, 2019 - 1:02pm

The Environmental Protection Agency announced Thursday that it will begin work on a plan to clean rivers being polluted by leaks from old mines in southwest Colorado this summer. 

EPA officials first outlined their plan to stem the tide of river pollution last June.

This summer’s work will focus on reducing the amount of heavy toxic metals that are being released into rivers from old mining sites while the EPA is still deciding on an overarching solution.

Work will include dredging contaminated sediment from streams and ponds, diverting water away from tainted mine waste piles and covering contaminated soil at campgrounds.

The cleanup was prompted by a 2015 mine blowout near Silverton, Colorado. The blowout dumped 3 million gallons of water into surrounding rivers, worsening an already decades-old problem. 

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