Bennet, Gardner, Tipton Urge EPA to Ensure Full Reimbursement to Local Governments for Gold King Mine Spill Costs

Letter to EPA Demands Assurances that all Costs will be Reimbursed

Washington D.C. - Today, Colorado U.S. Senators Michael Bennet and Cory Gardner and Congressman Scott Tipton are urging EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy to assure local governments and tribes that they will be fully reimbursed for all costs related to the Gold King Mine spill. Currently, if affected local governments have not executed an agreement with the EPA by November 3, they may not be able to fully recover costs associated with the spill. Both La Plata County and the Southern Ute Indian Tribe have expressed concerns about the current deadline.

Below is the text of a letter the Colorado lawmakers sent to Administrator McCarthy:

October 30, 2015

The Honorable Gina McCarthy
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20460

Dear Administrator McCarthy:

We write to strongly urge the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to provide immediate written assurances to the affected jurisdictions that the costs associated with the Gold King Mine on August 5, 2015 will be fully reimbursed regardless of the future award date. Without this assurance, local governments and tribes in southwest Colorado may not be able to recover all of the costs they incurred due to the spill.

The attached correspondence from La Plata County and the Southern Ute Indian Tribe explains their concerns in detail. Specifically, they understand that there is a November 3rd deadline for action to be taken on this matter. We urge you to act immediately to resolve these concerns and fulfill your commitment to cover the costs incurred by local governments and tribes as a result of the spill.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.

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