November 13th, 2015

November 5, 2015--EPA working through Gold King Mine spill reimbursements (Cortez Journal)

La Plata County and the Southern Ute Indian Tribe may have as many as 180 additional days to reach an agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency on reimbursement for costs associated with the Gold King Mine spill. The county and the tribe said last week that EPA headquarters in Washington hadn’t responded to multiple requests for an extension. Sens.

November 5, 2015--Water rule hits choppy water (Durango Herald)

The U.S. Senate this week advanced one effort to eliminate a controversial new rule extending regulation over small bodies of water, while blocking another attempt to rewrite it. “Coloradans know when they’re getting soaked,” Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner, a Republican, said following votes on Tuesday.

November 4, 2015--Voters agree to stabilize water district mill levy (Cortez Journal)

Voters have approved a request by the Dolores Water Conservancy District to freeze the mill levy at the current rate of 0.483. According to the Montezuma County election office, 2,706 voted in favor of the measure, and 1,729 voted against it. The district sought to avoid the ratcheting down effect on the district’s budget because of fluctuating property values. &ldqu

November 4, 2015--City voters approve bond for sewer plant (Durango Herald)

An overwhelming majority of city voters approved a $68 million bond question on Tuesday to allow the city to remodel the Santa Rita Park sewer plant. Early returns showed 2,640 voters or 67.59 percent said “yes” on the ballot issue, while 1,266 voters or 32.41 percent voted “no.” “It truly is the right decision,” said Mayor Dean Brookie.&nbsp

November 3, 2015--Durango's sewer rate to increase 25 percent (Durango Herald)

Durango City Councilors approved the appropriations for the $70 million operating budget and $21-plus million capital budget as well as a 25 percent sewer rate increase, as expected. The increase is the result of adjustments needed after 20 years of no rate increases.

November 2, 1015--Colorado lawmakers pursue mine cleanup bill (Durango Herald)

Members of Colorado’s congressional delegation are continuing to pursue separate good Samaritan mine-restoration legislation, even as a new bill focusing on the same issue was recently introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. Rep.

November 1, 2015--Stakeholders focus on Animas (Durango Herald)

Not wanting to let attention waiver on the need to improve water quality in the Animas River watershed, key stakeholders on Sunday held an informational open house at the La Plata County Fairgrounds. “If there is a silver lining, it’s that now there is all this awareness concerning the health of the river,” said Ann Oliver of the Animas Watershed Partnership. 

November 10, 2015-Water rights stakeholders able to reach settment in Animas -La Plata Project (Durango Herald)

A collective sigh of relief was let out in 6th Judicial District Court on Monday after a settlement was reached by several local agencies with a stake in the water rights of the Animas-La Plata Project stored in Lake Nighthorse. Chief District Judge Gregory Lyman will review the details of the settlement in the coming weeks, and the court will reconvene 1:30 p.m. Dec.

October 31st

October 31, 2015--Tipton seeks buy-in for bill to streamline mine cleanup (Montrose Press)

Spurred in part by the August environmental disaster that sent three million gallons of mine wastewater spilling down the Animas River, U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton is crafting legislation to address contamination at inactive mines. Tipton is still eyeing a “Good Samaritan” bill that would clear the way for private groups whose members work to clean up abandoned mines.

October 30, 2015--"Good Samaritan" legislation on agenda (Associated Press)

Congressional Republicans revived "Good Samaritan" legislation Thursday designed to encourage companies and nonprofits to help clean up thousands of abandoned mines across the nation by protecting them from liability for environmental accidents. The proposal was one of three the House Natural Resources Committee unveiled after the Environmental Protection Agency inadvertently unl