- Associated Press - Thursday, November 12, 2015

DENVER (AP) - Colorado officials are disputing a key claim by federal agencies about a massive spill of toxic wastewater from an inactive mine.

A report by the federal Bureau of Reclamation said two state mining experts signed off on an Environmental Protection Agency cleanup project that led to the Aug. 5 spill at the Gold King Mine in southwest Colorado.

But Mike King, head of the state Department of Natural Resources, says the state experts neither approved nor disapproved the operation. King made the statement in a letter to the EPA, which The Associated Press obtained through an open records request.

The letter is a blow to the EPA’s contention that outside experts supported the plan.

The EPA said Thursday it’s reviewing King’s letter. The Bureau of Reclamation said the author of its report wasn’t available to comment.

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