On Aug. 5, 2015, contractors for the Environmental Protection Agency accidentally released 3 million gallons of contaminated mine wastewater into Cement Creek, a tributary of the Animas River. The event triggered a controversial effort to seek Superfund cleanup for the Silverton area. That decision hangs in the balance. But in the year since the massive blowout that affected thousands of residents downstream and polluted two rivers in three states, the Gold King Mine spill is slowly beginning to change the legacy of mining in Southwest Colorado.

EPA updates on its work since Silverton Superfund declared

SILVERTON – It’s been more than a year since the Superfund site near Silverton was formally declared, and while the cleanup is expected to take years, Environmental... read more


Durango Herald file Rebecca Thomas, the Environmental Protection Agency’s project manager fo...

Before & After



Water for Navajo farms
Gold King Mine
Gold King water treatment facility
Historic Mining Sites
Steve Moyer, Vice President of Government Affairs, Trout Unlimited
Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner
Colorado Rep. Scott Tipton
Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper

Proposed Bonita Peak Mining District Site

Environmental Protection Agency documents show the proposed Superfund site in Silverton includes 48 mines — 26 that drain into the Upper Animas River, seven that drain into Mineral Creek and 15 that drain into Cement Creek. The site will be called Bonita Peak Mining District if it receives Superfund designation to clean up contamination. Click the pin on a site to learn what minerals were mined at the site, patents held and company that owns it.