- Associated Press - Monday, February 29, 2016

DENVER (AP) - The Latest on a proposed Superfund cleanup of southwestern Colorado mines (all times local):

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1:45 p.m.

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper says he will formally endorse a Superfund cleanup for 48 old mining sites, including one that sent wastewater into rivers in three states last summer.

Hickenlooper made the announcement Monday and said his written approval will be sent to the Environmental Protection Agency later in the day.

The EPA would oversee the project but won’t proceed without support from the governor and local officials. San Juan County and the town of Silverton endorsed the cleanup last week.

If the EPA designates the area a Superfund site, cleanup work could still be months or years away after studies and planning.

The EPA inadvertently triggered the release of 3 million gallons of wastewater from the inactive Gold King Mine on Aug. 5 during preliminary cleanup work. Rivers in Colorado, New Mexico and Utah were polluted.

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3 a.m.

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is expected to formally endorse a Superfund cleanup Monday for 48 old mining sites, including one that sent wastewater into rivers in three states last summer.

The Environmental Protection Agency would oversee the project but won’t proceed without support from the governor and local officials. San Juan County and the town of Silverton endorsed the cleanup last week.

Hickenlooper spokeswoman Kathy Green said Sunday the governor is preparing to give his blessing to the southwestern Colorado cleanup.

The EPA inadvertently triggered the release of 3 million gallons of wastewater from the inactive Gold King Mine on Aug. 5 during preliminary cleanup work. Rivers in Colorado, New Mexico and Utah were polluted.

Water utilities briefly shut down intake valves and farmers stopped drawing from the rivers.


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