The Latest: EPA chief visits Colorado mine spill site
Posted August 4
SILVERTON, Colo. — The Latest on the leader of the EPA visiting an old Colorado mine that spilled wastewater into rivers in three states (all times local):
The head of the Environmental Protection Agency toured the site of an old Colorado gold mine where the agency inadvertently triggered a spill of 3 million gallons of tainted wastewater.
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt had promised to visit the site during his confirmation hearing. He came to see the mine Friday along with Colorado lawmakers on the eve of the second anniversary of the disaster.
The spill sent 3 million gallons of tainted wastewater into rivers in Colorado, New Mexico and Utah, causing an estimated $420 million in economic damage.
Pruitt said he would consider paying for the damage and has sent letters to farmers, business owners, residents and others whose claims were rejected by the previous EPA administration.
He says the EPA should be held to the same standard as those it regulates.
The head of the Environmental Protection Agency says he will consider paying for economic damages from a 2015 mine waste spill triggered by agency crews.
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt told The Denver Post on Friday that he's asked farmers, business owners and residents whose claims were previously rejected to submit them again.
His comments came as he joined Colorado's governor and congressional members on a tour of the mine on the eve of the disaster's second anniversary.
The spill sent 3 million gallons of tainted wastewater into rivers in Colorado, New Mexico and Utah, causing an estimated $420 million in damage.
Under the Obama administration, the EPA said federal law prevented it from paying claims because of sovereign immunity, which prohibits most lawsuits against the government.
Colorado officials expect the head of the Environmental Protection Agency to join them on a tour of an old gold mine where the EPA inadvertently triggered a spill of 3 million gallons of tainted wastewater.
The tour is Friday at the Gold King Mine in southwestern Colorado.
Jacque Montgomery, a spokeswoman for Gov. John Hickenlooper, said state officials expect EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to be present. The EPA refused to say whether Pruitt would attend.
Pruitt was in the Denver area Thursday.
Hickenlooper, U.S. Sens. Michael Bennett and Cory Gardner and U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton are scheduled be at the mine.
The EPA designated the Gold King and 47 other sites in the area a Superfund district last year.
The August 2015 release at the Gold King tainted rivers in Colorado, New Mexico and Utah.