Bush asked for help with Leadville mine threat | VailDaily.com

Bush asked for help with Leadville mine threat

Ed Andrieski/APOld mining buildings and shafts reamin east of Leadville. More than 1 billion gallons of water " enough to fill 1,500 Olympic-sized swimming pools " is backed up in abandoned mine shafts and a drainage tunnel in the mountains above Leadville, and officials worry it could blow out and was through the historic town when the heavy snowpack melts.

DENVER, Colorado ” Gov. Bill Ritter is asking President Bush for quick action in dealing with the threat of a catastrophic blowout of 1 billion gallons of contaminated water trapped in a mine drainage tunnel near Leadville.

In a letter sent to Bush Friday, Ritter is asking for the president’s help in speeding up the drilling of wells to pump out water trapped behind the Leadville Mine Drainage Tunnel.

State, county and federal officials are studying what to do about the growing pool caused by the partial collapse of the 2.1 mile long tunnel.

Lake County officials this week declared an emergency over fears that above-average snowpack melting this spring could add more water and lead to a blowout.

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