The good doctor, Ben Carson, made a short visit to Durango and decided the EPA is “a bunch of bureaucrats who don’t know a bunch of anything” and that under his administration he would thoroughly purge the organization. Furthermore, Superfund status for Silverton should be up to the town’s residents. Nonsense. Spills from that area have polluted the Animas River for more than a century and have now affected lives and the environment all the way to Lake Powell.
In 1994, the EPA attempted to list the draining mines under Superfund, and had not Silverton resisted, our current crises could have been avoided. Superfund, which has the resources, has successfully cleaned up many areas, including the WWII chemical weapons site at Rocky Mountain Arsenal in Denver and the California Gulch outside Leadville, which had surface and groundwater contamination from mine drainage – wastes similar to those from the Gold King Mine.
Only a Superfund designation can prevent the pressure of another 3 million gallons of contaminated water from again leaking or bursting into our river. Efforts up to now have been completely inadequate.