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EPA Awards Additional $1.15 Million for Gold King Mine Response Costs

Agency has now provided $5,255,202 in grants and reimbursements connected to the 2015 incident

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced that it will award more than $1,155,000 to reimburse states, tribes and local governments for their response costs associated with the August 5, 2015 Gold King Mine release near Silverton, Colo. These funds include costs incurred for various activities, including field evaluations, water quality sampling, laboratory analyses, and personnel. The agency had previously reimbursed more than $1.9 million for response costs through cooperative agreements under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), known as Superfund.

The agency is currently in the process of awarding more than $2 million through Clean Water Act grants, so that states and tribes can develop a real-time water monitoring system throughout the region.

The reimbursement covers documented costs allowable under CERCLA. Today’s funding is included in the chart below.

Gold King Mine: CERCLA Reimbursements and CWA Grants

Previous CERCLA reimbursement

Today’s CERCLA reimbursements

Recertified Tribal Funds

Clean Water Act funds (Section 106 and 319)

TOTAL

Utah

$258,000

$465,000

$723,000

Colorado

$161,000

$465,000

$626,000

Southern Ute Indian Tribe

$116,372

$106,000

$159,900

$103,100

$485,372

Ute Mountain Ute

$40,000

$40,000

La Plata County

$270,578

$99,000

$369,578

San Juan County/Silverton

$226,196

$43,000

$269,196

San Juan Basin Health Department

$72,540

$72,540

Durango

$2,471

$43,000

$45,471

Navajo Nation

$157,756

$445,000

$465,000

$1,067,756

Arizona

$19,460

$19,460

New Mexico

$1,072,585

$465,000

$1,537,585

TOTAL

$1,937,958

$1,155,000

$159,900

$2,003,100

$5,255,958

Including these reimbursements and grants, EPA has dedicated more than $29 million to address the Gold King Mine incident. The funds are being used to support states, tribes and local governments, to stabilize the Gold King Mine adit and to mitigate ongoing acid mine drainage from Gold King Mine. 

Contamination from more than 160,000 abandoned mines in the West continues to pose costly and complex challenges. The agency this week released a Retrospective covering the legacy of hardrock mining, the Aug. 5, 2015 incident, the agency’s response to date, and work left to be done. To read the report, visit https://www.epa.gov/goldkingmine/one-year-after-gold-king-mine-incident-retrospective-epas-efforts-restore-and-protect.

For more information on EPA’s Gold King Mine response, visit www.epa.gov/goldkingmine

For more information on the proposed Bonita Peak Mining District, visit https://cumulis.epa.gov/supercpad/cursites/csitinfo.cfm?id=0802497.

For more information on CERCLA, visit https://www.epa.gov/laws-regulations/summary-comprehensive-environmental-response-compensation-and-liability-act.

Read Region 9’s press release on Navajo Nation reimbursement.

Read Region 8’s press release on reimbursements to Utah, Colorado, Southern Ute Indian Tribe, La Plata County, San Juan County and Durango.