- Associated Press - Saturday, December 10, 2016

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Members of New Mexico’s congressional delegation say a newly approved water bill includes provisions to expedite reimbursements to state, local and tribal governments for a 2015 mine spill.

A joint statement Saturday by Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and Representatives Ben Ray Lujan and Michelle Lujan Grisham says provisions deal with the aftermath of the Gold King Mine spill in southwestern Colorado.

The lawmakers say provisions force the Environmental Protection Agency to extend the date for reimbursements to governments’ emergency responses, direct the EPA to quickly address farmers’ claims and authorize the EPA to coordinate with governments and pay for water monitoring efforts.

The EPA said Friday it will pay $4.5 million for state, local and tribal governments’ emergency responses. The agency turned down $20.4 million in other requests.

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