On August 5, 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was conducting an investigation of the Gold King Mine near Silverton, Colorado, to: assess the on-going water releases from the mine, treat mine water, and assess the feasibility of further mine remediation. While excavating above the old adit, pressurized water began leaking above the mine tunnel, spilling about three million gallons of water stored behind the collapsed material into Cement Creek, a tributary of the Animas River.  The creek has long been considered one of the worst sources of metals contamination in the upper Animas River Basin, because heavy metals from abandoned mines (and from natural sources) in the Gladstone area, some which operated in the late 1800s to early 1900s, are believed to be polluting the creek.  The spill impacted the watersheds of downstream communities in three states and was declared the Bonita Peak Mining District Superfund site.
Bonita Peak Mining District


Citizen Superfund Workgroup
​Four local watershed groups sponsored a citizen stakeholder process to develop recommendations for potential cleanup goals for cleanup at the Bonita Peak Mining District Superfund Site.  The four groups – the Animas River Stakeholders Group, Trout Unlimited, the Animas River Community Forum, and the Animas Watershed Partnership – jointly held meetings of the Citizens Superfund Workgroup 
(CSW) from August 2017 through April 2018.  The Citizens Superfund Workgroup was designed to provide a forum, outside of EPA’s periodic public outreach efforts, for the community to better understand the issues involved in the cleanup and to develop outcomes or goals the community would like to see given the enormous effort that will be put into this Superfund site. A copy of the goals and desired outcomes developed by the CSW is provided below and was presented to the Governor of Colorado, Seators Bennett and Gardner, Representative Tipton, EPA Washington Office, Region 8 EPA Director and staff, and the Bonita Peak Mining District Site Team. Attached to the Goals and Desired Outcomes Memo is a listing of CSW participants and supporters of the Memo.
2017 Updates

Bonita Peak Mining District Updates
(EPA Newsletters)

2016 Updates
2017 Updates
2018 Updates
2019 Updates