The EPA is installing a barrier at the mine outside Silverton to prevent another spill like the one in 2015 that sent 3 million gallons of toxic water into rivers.
Health care, not the environment, was top of mind for many attendees at the crowded public meeting
In lieu of criminal prosecution, a spokesperson said a report will be prepared for the EPA’s top leadership to review.
For decades some Westerners have tried to make it easier to clean up thousands of abandoned mines, but a solution remains elusive.
"New Mexico and its citizens are now paying the price" of last year's mine spill near Silverton, that state's attorney general says.
The states and tribes say they will share their data and will train first-responders and water users to be prepared for a flood.
The current plan would keep land tracts near clean-up mines out of the Superfund site, which is important to private land owners.
Asking for a Superfund designation means relying on the same agency that accidentally sent 3 millions of gallons of orange waste into the Animas River.
Silverton resisted a Superfund designation for decades. It just took a bright orange river to change things.