Letter: Weigh in on more aggressive cleanup measures for Eagle Mine | VailDaily.com

Letter: Weigh in on more aggressive cleanup measures for Eagle Mine

Hey, neighbors: We have a chance to improve water quality in the Eagle River by submitting comments on two proposed environmental cleanup plans for the Eagle Mine superfund site, located south of Minturn.

After the mine closed in 1984, the electrical power was shut off and the mine tunnels were left to flood. The Eagle River was consequently contaminated with heavy metals from the flooded mine workings, tailings piles and waste rock.

Damage to the health of the river led the Environmental Protection Agency to add the Eagle Mine to the National Priorities List of Superfund Sites in 1986. Cleanup efforts began in 1988 and have been ongoing under agreements between the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the owner of the site, CBS Operations Inc.

While much progress has been made, a new cleanup effort for site-wide contamination is necessary so the site can comply with new water-quality standards set for the Eagle River in 2009. The Eagle River Water & Sanitation District believes the proposed plans fall short of their intended outcome and that additional cleanup measures are necessary to achieve water-quality standards.

Everyone in Eagle County has a stake in the health of the Eagle River. It is a primary water supply source and a focal point for our recreation economy.

Please take the time to review the proposed plans, available on the EPA and Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment websites, and submit comments asking for more aggressive cleanup measures, including the removal of acid-generating waste rock piles. Comments are due by Sept. 10. A comment guide, contact information and more are available on the Eagle River Water & Sanitation District website, http://www.erwsd.org.

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Thanks for your interest. Clean water matters.

Bob Armour

Board member, Eagle River Water & Sanitation District