Why Durango Wants A Superfund Site For Gold King Mine Spill

· Jan. 20, 2016, 6:10 pm
Photo: Gold King Mine Settlement Pond SystemAP
Water flows through a series of sediment retention ponds built to reduce heavy metal and chemical contaminants from the Gold King Mine wastewater accident, in the spillway about 1/4 mile downstream from the mine, outside Silverton, Colo., Friday, Aug. 14, 2015. 

signaled its approval for a Superfund site following the August 2015 spill. 

Silverton has already said they want a Superfund site though, and the selection process is determined in part by environmental factors. So what's the point in passing a resolution to support a Superfund designation?

There's geography -- both cites are part of the Animas River watershed, and the river itself flows through Durango.

But Durango City Councilor Sweetie Marbury says it's about signaling to Gov. John Hickenlooper that the Superfund designation efforts have grassroots support.

"People come to City Council and ask us to do that," she said about the resolution. "Our mayor went to Washington and testified in front of Congress about the spill. We know this is not going to go away." 

Ultimately, the Superfund designation request must be supported by the governor. Hickenlooper's office has said that he would make the request if there is "broad local community support," reported the Colorado Statesman in September 2015.

La Plata County is also expected to support a Superfund designation in a vote next week. 

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