State Lawmaker Aims At Federal Tort Law Over Gold King Mine Spill

December 29, 2015
Photo: Animas River flows through Durango, Colorado
The Animas River, yellowed from hazardous water from an old gold mine near Silverton, flows near Durango, Colorado.

The Durango Herald reports that the legislation from Rep. Don Coram, R-Montrose, takes aim at the Federal Tort Claims Act:

...which allows individuals to sue the United States in federal court for damages caused by federal employees acting on behalf of the country. With Coram’s legislation, the state would be allowed to sue on behalf of individuals.

More than 3 million gallons of toxic mine waste spilled into the Animas River from the Gold King Mine last summer, after an EPA maintenance effort at the abandoned mine went awry. Drinking water intakes for Durango were shut off for a time, and the river was closed to recreational use, as the orange effluent drifted downtstream.

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