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EPA waits to release comments on Colorado mine cleanup plan

(Brennan Linsley | The Associated Press) In this Aug. 12, 2015, file photo, wastewater flows through a retention pond built to contain and remove heavy metals from the Gold King Mine outside Silverton, Colo. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency accidentally triggered a spill of 3 million gallons of wastewater from the mine. The Obama administration said it could not legally repay any of the claims for damage from the spill, but the Trump administration promised last year to reconsider. As of Friday, Aug. 3, 2018, no claims had been paid, but the agency said it is continuing to review them.

Durango, Colo. • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says it won’t release public comments on its interim cleanup plan for southwestern Colorado mines until it has reached a final decision on the plan.

The Durango Herald reported the EPA's position Sunday.

Last June, the EPA outlined the next steps it plans to take to protect rivers from toxic metals flowing out of the Gold King Mine and other sites while it comes up with a longer-term solution.

EPA spokeswoman Cynthia Peterson said the agency usually doesn’t release public comments on this type of plan until a decision is reached.

The EPA inadvertently triggered a spill from the Gold King in 2015, tainting rivers in Colorado, New Mexico and Utah.

The agency designated the Gold King and 47 other sites a Superfund district in 2016.

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