Silverton

February 6, 2016--Durango, Silverton officials, governor back Superfund listing (Durango Herald)

Officials are edging closer to recommending a Superfund listing in the wake of the Gold King Mine spill after closed-door meetings Friday. Gov. John Hickenlooper met with officials from Durango, Silverton and San Juan County late Friday afternoon.


February 4, 2016--Durango sends letter to Colorado governor in support of Superfund (Durango Herald)

As Silverton and San Juan County officials continue struggling with the terms of Superfund designation, Mayor Dean Brookie said the city of Durango sent a letter this week to Gov.


January 30, 2016--Durango may move forward with Superfund support letter (Durango Herald)

Although Silverton and San Juan County officials last week delayed a decision on seeking Superfund status, Durango City Mayor Dean Brookie is considering sending a letter to Gov.


January 27, 2016--EPA blamed for delay on Superfund in Silverton (Durango Herald)

Frustration for failing to meet a Jan. 31 deadline to be considered for a Superfund listing this spring was evident Tuesday night in Silverton, but the town’s hired attorneys assured elected officials negotiations have not derailed. 


January 22, 2016--Silverton drafting Superfund-seeking letter to Colorado's governor (Denver Post)

Attorneys for Silverton and San Juan County are in the process of drafting a letter to Colorado's governor in support of Superfund cleanup for its leaching, abandoned mines. While the request still must be approved by the town's elected officials next week, the action represents the most significant move since the Gold King Mine spill in August prompted cries for a large-


January 17, 2016--Silverton to EPA: Keep Gold King sludge out of Animas (Denver Post)

Colorado mountain residents hardest-hit by the EPA-triggered Gold King Mine disaster say they'd like to make Silverton a research hub to find a better way — beyond building water treatment plants — to deal with thousands of mines leaking toxic acids. Since August, the Environmental Protection Agency has relied on a temporary plant to remove millions of tons of metals sludge


Southwest Colorado Mining History

Duane Smith, a local historian and retired Fort Lewis professor, said that even in the late 1800s, downstream communities wondered why the Animas River changed color, as mining practices of the day were unregulated. A 1899 newsclip from the Durango Democrat, indicated the early tension between Durango and Silverton: “The question that is crowding upon Durango thick and fast is one of water. The mill slimes from Silverton are now reaching us.” According to a 1932 report in the Silverton Standard & the Miner, a La Plata County farmer won a legal action against Sunnyside Mining and Milling after the company dumped mine tailings into the Animas River, damaging the farmer’s land and stock. The article does not name the terms of the settlement, but the farmer sought $25,000 in damages (about $500k in today’s dollars). In a great November 17th article by the Durango Herald, archival photos of mine tailing pits above Silverton highlight that not much has changed when it comes to complaints about mine waste since the region’s early settlement. “Ranchers and farmers who want to use water for irrigation in the lower valley have always attempted to force the mine and mill operators to keep the tailings from polluting the streams; however without much success,” the original caption for the 1940 photograph said. The mine tailing photo is especially relevant after the August 5th Gold King Mine blowout, which sent 3 million gallons of acid mine drainage down the Animas River, and reinvigorated a decades-old problem of water quality in the river’s upper basin.


Silverton and San Juan County Officials Authorize NPL Discussions

In response to the recent Gold King Mine incident on the Animas River, in November, Silverton and San Juan County officials participated in a tour of several Superfund sites in Colorado. Since then, both governments have authorized their representatives to meet with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, as well as the U.S. EPA to discuss what would be involved if the area were to be given a National Priority Listing (NPL) under the Superfund program. These discussions are preliminary and no decisions have been made, though one of the conditions desired by the local governments is that money be made available now to address the mining drainage in Upper Cement Creek.


October 3, 2015--Tipton questions Superfund status (Durango Herald)

U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton on Thursday expressed concerns with the prospect of federal officials moving forward with a Superfund listing for Silverton near the inactive Gold King Mine. A divide has emerged over the Superfund question, with some residents and officials of Silverton worried the listing would be a stain on the community.


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