EPA Widens Investigation Into Colorado Gold Mine Spill. The Environmental Protection Agency’s inspector general is expanding its investigation into a toxic spill from an inactive Colorado gold mine to include questions about whether the agency was following its own rules when it triggered the blowout.
The inspector general’s office said Thursday that it will add more than a dozen lines of inquiry, some requested by Congress and others raised by a review of the spill by the Interior Department.
An EPA-led contractor inadvertently released 3 million gallons of wastewater tainted with heavy metals from the Gold King Mine on Aug. 5 during cleanup operations. Rivers in Colorado, New Mexico and Utah were contaminated. EPA Widens Investigation Into Colorado Gold Mine Spill
The inspector general will also look into what kind of legal protection EPA gave the contractor and whether that affected the way the work was done.
Gold mining in Colorado, a state of the United States, has been an industry since 1858. It also played a key role in the establishment of the state of Colorado.
Explorer Zebulon Pike heard a report of gold in South Park, present-day Park County, Colorado, in 1807.
Gold discoveries in Colorado began around Denver; prospectors traced the placer gold to its source in the mountains west of Denver, then followed the Colorado Mineral Belt in a southwest direction across the state to its terminus in the San Juan Mountains. The Cripple Creek district, far from the mineral belt, was one of the last gold districts to be discovered and is still in production.