EPA, Utah resolve Gold King Mine claims

Aug. 5, 2020
Utah to dismiss legal claims; EPA to strengthen Utah’s involvement in the Agency’s work to address contamination at the Bonita Peak Mining District Superfund Site

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Under a new agreement, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the State of Utah are resolving the State’s legal claims associated with the Gold King Mine release.

Five years ago, on August 5, 2015, an EPA site reclamation team accidentally triggered a release of about 3 billion gallons of acid mine water in southwest Colorado.

Under the agreement, Utah will dismiss its legal claims against the EPA and the United States, as well as EPA’s contractors, and EPA will strengthen Utah’s involvement in the Agency’s work to address contamination at the Bonita Peak Mining District Superfund Site, which includes the Gold King Mine and other abandoned mines.

EPA will also continue to partner with Utah on other environmental priorities, including the assessment of abandoned mine sites in Utah that may be impacting its waters as well as other projects to improve Utah’s water quality.

As part of the agreement, EPA will act on the Utah Department of Environmental Quality’s application for $3 million in Clean Water Act funds for various projects, including the development of water quality criteria for Utah Lake, septic density studies, nonpoint source pollution reduction projects, and nutrient management plans for agricultural sources. EPA will also initiate Superfund assessments of several abandoned mine sites in Utah by the end of calendar year 2021. 

To view the settlement agreement visit: https://www.epa.gov/goldkingmine/gold-king-mine-settlement-agreement-utah-august-5-2020

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