Window Rock – President Russell Begaye released the following statement today commending the Town of Silverton and San Juan County for joining the effort to list the mining district in the Upper Animas watershed as a Superfund site. The Durango Herald reports that after 20 years of debate, the town of Silverton will begin to officially engage the United States Environmental Agency to add the mining district to the National Priorities List.
“It is well past time for the United States Environmental Protection Agency to step up and protect downstream communities by addressing pollution in the Animas River Basin. The first step in this process is to list the Upper Animas Mining District as a Superfund site. This will provide much needed funding and technical assistance to responsibly address the threats posed by the District.
“The health and well-being of the region should be of primary importance to the USEPA. We applaud the Town of Silverton and San Juan County for joining the effort to convince the agency to list this polluted area on the National Priorities List. The EPA now needs to move quickly to get the mining district listed and to address the serious contamination and harms caused by the mines.”