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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

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Bonita Peak Mining District
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