03.09.17

Gardner Invites EPA Administrator Pruitt to Southwest Colorado to Discuss Gold King Mine Spill

Washington, DC – Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) today sent a letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt inviting him to visit Southwest Colorado to hear from Coloradans regarding the Gold King Mine spill. Recently, Gardner spoke on the Senate floor about the Gold King Mine spill and released a statement following his vote to confirm Administrator Pruitt highlighting Pruitt’s commitment to fully compensate those affected. 

In the letter, Gardner wrote, “We share the goal of making communities whole from this EPA-born spill. I believe you visiting Southwest Colorado and the EPA conducting a public forum would serve as a great opportunity to hear from these communities directly.”

The letter reads in full:

Dear Administrator Pruitt:

Thank you for the commitment during your Senate confirmation process that you will make sure those affected in Colorado by the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Gold King Mine spill are compensated. I write today to ask that you visit the area and for the Administration to conduct public meetings in Southwest Colorado in order to hear from communities that were impacted by the spill in August 2015.  

On August 5, 2015, the EPA spilled approximately three million gallons of toxic waste into Cement Creek and the Animas River in Colorado, which flowed downstream through New Mexico, Utah, the Southern Ute Indian Reservation, and the Navajo Nation. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy stated that the EPA took full responsibility for the disaster, but refused to fully reimburse the affected states, local and tribal governments for response costs, which is contrary to Section 5004 of the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act passed last Congress. In January, the EPA also denied the 73 personal injury and economic and business loss claims filed under the Federal Tort Claims Act regarding the spill.

We share the goal of making communities whole from this EPA-born spill. I believe you visiting Southwest Colorado and the EPA conducting a public forum would serve as a great opportunity to hear from these communities directly.  

Thank you for your consideration and I look forward to your prompt response.

Sincerely,

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Cory Gardner is a member of the U.S. Senate serving Colorado. He sits on the Energy & Natural Resources Committee, the Foreign Relations Committee, the Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee, and the Budget Committee, and is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy and Chairman of the Subcommittee on Energy.

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