By Raimy Beuscher, communications intern

Animas RiverU.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials held a public meeting in early June to discuss a proposed Superfund designation for the Bonita Peak Mining District outside of Silverton, Colorado.

In August, a crew from the agency triggered a blowout at the district’s Gold King Mine site, which caused three million gallons of toxic wastewater to flow into the Animas River and community members have expressed concern about possible downstream contamination. If the area is successfully classified as a Superfund site, funding and resources will be provided to prevent future disasters.

During the meeting, Rebecca Thomas, a project manager with the EPA’s Region 8 office in Denver described the agency’s experience restoring mining areas in the Rocky Mountains including a site on the Arkansas River near Leadville, Colorado. The audience members gave input on ways EPA can improve communications with the community including social media and monthly updates about the ongoing work.

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