ICYMI: Gardner Applauds EPA Decision to Elevate Bonita Peak Mining District as a Priority Superfund Site

Designation Includes Gold King Mine Area

Washington, D.C. – Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) released the below statement applauding the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision to list the Bonita Peak mining district as a top priority superfund cleanup site.


“Administrator Pruitt assured me when I met with him before his confirmation and when we visited the site in August that the EPA would make the right decision for the people of Southwest Colorado, and I appreciate his agency following through on their promise,” Gardner said. “The Gold King mine spill has had a significant impact on our state and there will continue to be a lot of work done by our elected officials and community. This latest commitment to the Bonita Peak Mining District along with continued attention to Pueblo cleanup actions are important steps in the progress that needs to be made by the EPA at both locations.”


Gardner, along with his colleagues in the Colorado Congressional delegation, has been working since the Gold King Mine spill occurred in 2015 to make sure Southwest Colorado has the necessary resources to clean up abandoned mines and prevent a similar catastrophe from happening in the future. Before voting to confirm Scott Pruitt as EPA Administrator, Gardner secured a commitment from Pruitt to work together to address the continued fallout from the Gold King Mine spill. In March, Gardner invited EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to visit Southwest Colorado to hear from Coloradans regarding the Gold King Mine spill.


According to the EPA, the Bonita Peak Mining District (BPMD) became a Superfund site on Sept. 9, 2016, when it was added to the National Priorities List. The site consists of historic and ongoing releases from mining operations in three drainages:  Mineral Creek, Cement Creek and Upper Animas, which converge into the Animas River near Silverton, Colorado. The site includes 35 mines, seven tunnels, four tailings impoundments and two study areas where additional information is needed to evaluate environmental concerns.


More information from the EPA can be found here.




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 Subcommittee on Energy


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