The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced a further $710,000 in reimbursements to state, tribal and local governments for costs incurred in the Gold King Mine release response, bringing the regional total in reimbursements to $1.4 million.
The funding is allocated for a range of activities undertaken in response to the release, including field evaluations, waste quality sampling, laboratory analyses and personnel costs. These reimbursements were determined as required by the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) or Superfund. The agency will distribute the funding as follows: $258,000 to the State of Utah, $161,000 to the State of Colorado, $106,000 to the Southern Ute Indian Tribe, $99,000 to La Plata County, $43,000 to the City of Durango and $43,000 to San Juan County.
Nationally, the EPA has provided more than $3 million in reimbursements, as well as Clean Water Act grants worth $2 million. All told, the agency has dedicated more than $29 million to responding to the incident.
The EPA and local partners have been working to address the affects of the Gold King Mine release for over a year and are working with stakeholders to address the challenges presented by abandoned mines, such as future releases and the need to protect water resources.