By Associated Press - Monday, February 15, 2016

SILVERTON, Colo. (AP) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has promised to involve local officials as much as practical in any decisions about a possible Superfund cleanup around the site of a massive mine spill in southwestern Colorado.

The EPA made the pledge in a letter to the town of Silverton and San Juan County dated Friday.

Local officials are negotiating with the EPA over a Superfund designation for the mountains north of Silverton, where wastewater flows from scores of idle mines into the Animas River.

Last August, an EPA crew inadvertently unleashed 3 million gallons of waste from one of those mines, the Gold King. Rivers in Colorado, New Mexico and Utah were polluted.

The EPA has proposed a Superfund designation to fund a multimillion-dollar cleanup but won’t do so without local support.

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