Denver, CO - Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet issued the following statement today after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced their proposal to add Bonita Peak Mining District to the Superfund Program's National Priorities List (NPL):
"We still have plenty of work to do to mitigate the long-term effects of the Gold King Mine spill and clean up the abandoned mines in the Animas River Basin. We are pleased to hear that the EPA is considering Governor Hickenlooper's and the local communities' requests to add the Bonita Peak Mining District to the National Priority List. We will continue to push the EPA to work with state, tribal, and local officials to ensure their concerns are addressed throughout this process."
Bennet has consistently fought to ensure that communities affected by the Gold King Mine spill have the resources they need to recover. Bennet has supported the Governor's call for a Superfund designation, and last month Bennet sent a letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee requesting adequate funding for the Superfund program. He has also pushed the EPA to run the temporary water treatment plant in Cement Creek at full capacity to treat more of the mine drainage.
In Congress, he has introduced The Gold King Mine Spill Recovery Act to ensure the EPA compensates all communities and tribes affected by the spill and the Hardrock Mining and Reclamation Act of 2015 to update our mining laws and provide funding for cleaning up abandoned mine sites. He is also working with Senator Cory Gardner and Representative Scott Tipton on Good Samaritan legislation that would allow local groups to help clean up the hundreds of abandoned mine sites across the state.