3 years after Colorado mine spill, victims awaiting payment

In this August 2015 file photo, Dan Bender, with the La Plata County Sheriff's Office, takes a water sample from the Animas River near Durango, Colo. after the accidental released of an estimated 3 million gallons of waste from the Gold King Mine by a crew led by the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA says it has almost finished reviewing hundreds of damage claims from the spill, but the agency has still not released a clear accounting of the claims made for economic losses and personal injuries.

Three years after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency triggered a massive mine spill that polluted rivers in three states, the federal government still hasn’t repaid the victims for the millions of dollars in economic damage they claimed.

The EPA said this week it’s making progress on reviewing about 380 claims for lost income, fallen property values and other losses from the 2015 spill at the Gold King Mine in southwestern Colorado.

But the agency hasn’t said when it might finish.

An EPA-led contractor crew was doing excavation work at the entrance to the Gold King on Aug. 5, 2015, when workers inadvertently unleashed 3 million gallons of wastewater.

The water sent a yellow-orange plume of pollution into rivers in Colorado, New Mexico and Utah. Tribal lands were also affected

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