EPA will continue to operate Gold King Mine interim water treatment plant

Agency announces continued operation of plant in Gladstone, Colorado.

The water treatment plant for the Gold King Mine in Gladstone, Colorado.
The water treatment plant for the Gold King Mine in Gladstone, Colorado.

COLORADO, JANUARY 18, 2017 -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced its decision to continue operation of the Gold King Mine Interim Water Treatment Plant (IWTP) at Gladstone, CO, while the Agency evaluates longer-term options to address water quality issues as part of the Bonita Peak Mining District Superfund site remedial action. The decision comes in the form of a Non-Time Critical Removal Action (NTCRA) Action Memo that transitions the IWTP operation from an emergency removal action to a NTCRA.

The Action Memo was signed after EPA reviewed and considered public comments provided on a previously released Engineering Evaluation and Cost Analysis (EE/CA). The EE/CA analyzed the effectiveness, implementability and cost of continuing to operate the IWTP.

The IWTP has treated discharge from the Gold King Mine since October 2015. As EPA continues its remedial investigation, its remedial program will provide a comprehensive evaluation, not just of the IWTP, but of the various sources of mine-impacted water in the Cement Creek drainage. As EPA understands more about the hydrology of the area, and how various sources of contamination are affecting water quality, the Agency will consider any number of options, including potential expansion of the IWTP, to address the contamination.

The Action Memo can be found at http://semspub.epa.gov/src/document/08/1834188.

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