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COLORADO ATTORNEY GENERAL CYNTHIA H. COFFMAN’S STATEMENT REGARDING THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE GOLD KING MINE SPILL

My thoughts are with all those who have been impacted by last year's Gold King Mine disaster. Last August, EPA Administrator McCarthy accepted “full responsibility” for the Gold King Mine blowout and told Coloradans the agency would “hold itself to a higher standard than anyone else.” That has proven to be a hollow commitment. Our state now faces a lawsuit filed by New Mexico along with the possibility of more litigation to come. We will spend millions of taxpayer dollars defending Colorado because of EPA’s errors. At the same time, our citizens still wait for EPA’s response to tort claims it encouraged them to file, and EPA continues to obfuscate about what exactly happened on August 5, 2015, at the Gold King Mine.
 
There is an important distinction to be drawn between the dumping of millions of gallons of acid mine drainage that turned a river yellow, and the fact that Colorado has hundreds more abandoned mines in need of cleanup, or that EPA apparently wants a Superfund designation for the Bonita Peak Mine District. Attempts to change the subject can reasonably be interpreted as attempts to avoid that promise of full responsibility. Fortunately, Coloradans aren’t so easily distracted when they’ve been wronged.
 
 
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