The Environmental Protection Agency has something to say to Silverton:
“We heard you loud and clear,” said Martin Hestmark, acting office director for ecosystems protection and remediation at the EPA’s regional office in Denver.
“We are going to set aside the whole Superfund listing in the interest of continuing to collaborate with you and the Animas River Stakeholders Group, as we have for the last 17 years,” Hestmark said Thursday morning, April 19, in a meeting with town and county officials.
The EPA had been studying a cluster of abandoned mines in the Gladstone area that are blamed for leaking heavy metals into Cement Creek, impacting water quality on the Animas River.
But the Silverton Town Council and the San Juan County commissioners refused to back Superfund listing. Meanwhile Sunnyside Gold Corp., which state and federal officials had identified as a possible responsible party for the contamination, has agreed to pony up some $6.5 million to help address the issue.
A public meeting at Town Hall involving several interested parties is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. tonight (Thursday, April 19).
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