Federal Government Still Hasn’t Paid for Gold King Mine Spill


The Federal Government is under fire from three states, numerous individuals, and other entities awaiting payment for damages incurred in August 2015 when an EPA-led contractor crew doing excavation at the entrance to Gold King Mine in Silverton, Colorado accidentally allowed three million gallons of wastewater to spill out into the mine. Rivers in Colorado, Utah and New Mexico were inundated with polluted water that carried over 500 tons of metals mainly aluminum and iron.

The mine spill resulted in about $318 million in claims filed by farmers, rafting companies, homeowners and fishing guides impacted by the huge spill. Local, state and tribal government entities claimed even more costly losses, but the government is dragging its feet on paying for this damage, and people and agencies have grown impatient.

While the EPA did pay out millions to tribal, state and local governments for the cost of water tests and the response to the spill, that’s about all that’s been paid to date. In January 2017, the Obama Administration, which was in charge in August 2015 when the spill occurred, said it could not pay for the damages that resulted from the Gold King Mine spill citing sovereign immunity, which prohibits many lawsuits against the United States government. Now, this mess falls on the Trump Administration and acting EPA Chief, Andrew Wheeler.

Read the full article at American Legal News.

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