EPA, mining company spar over investigation order | KOB 4

EPA, mining company spar over investigation order

Meg Hilling
March 23, 2018 09:01 PM

FARMINGTON, N.M. – Sunnyside Gold Corporation and the EPA are going head-to-head this week in a debate over a unilateral administrative order.


Last Friday the EPA called upon Sunnyside to launch an investigation into the groundwater quality in the Bonita Peak Mining District. The reason? To help study and maintain a clean Animas River, most widely known as the river that turned a mustard yellow as a result of a Gold King Mine Spill in August of 2015.

"We've been interested for a long time in how groundwater really works in that mining district, how water flows through the groundwater system, how some of these historic underground mine workings might be connected," said Rebecca Thomas, an EPA project manager.

Sunnyside is now calling for a conference with the EPA before launching any investigative work. In an email to KOB, the corporation wrote, "SGC is not the cause of water quality issues in the Animas River."

The statement goes on to note that the corporation has operated in the region in full accordance with the law, and that voluntary studies have also been undertaken.

The investigation would entail testing water content in seeps, springs and ground wells – all of which EPA officials say are necessary.

At this time, no date has been set for the conference.




Meg Hilling

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