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Recovery Act Funding to Accelerate Cleanup, Boost Economy, Create Jobs and Protect Human Health at Colorado’s Summitville Mine Hazardous Waste Site

Release Date: 04/15/2009
Contact Information: Bill Murray, EPA, 303-312-6401, murray.bill@epa.gov

$10 - $25 million in Recovery Act funds added to cleanup at Summitville Mine Superfund Site

(Denver, Colo. – April 15, 2009) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced $10 to $25 million in new funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 for the Summitville Mine Superfund Site, located high in the San Juan Mountains of Rio Grande County. The money will accelerate the hazardous waste cleanup already underway at the site. It will also jumpstart the local economy by creating jobs in southwest Colorado. This Recovery Act funding is part of the $600 million that Congress appropriated to the Federal Superfund remedial program.

"EPA has an answer to these challenging economic times," said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. "Under the Recovery Act, we're getting harmful pollutants and dangerous chemicals out of these communities and putting jobs and investment back in."

These Recovery Act funds will be used to construct a 1600 gallons-per-minute water treatment plant at the Summitville Mine site. The plant will remove contaminants from acidic metals-contaminated mine drainage before the water leaves the site and enters the headwaters of the Alamosa River, which flows into the Rio Grande. When the plant is operational, all cleanup work at the Summitville Mine site will be complete.

"This is how we create new jobs and help stimulate our economy while protecting human health and the environment," said Carol Rushin, EPA Acting Regional Administrator. "The Recovery Act dollars will result in the cleanup and redevelopment of Superfund sites, and restoration of the communities, rivers and water supplies that have been contaminated by mining wastes."

The Federal Superfund program was created in 1980 to clean up uncontrolled hazardous waste sites that pose unacceptable risks to human health and the environment. Superfund sites are often found in industrial areas hardest hit by the recession. Superfund cleanups are major construction projects which employ thousands of workers nationwide. The Superfund program is implementing new or expanded cleanup actions at 50 sites around the country and since it began, the program has completed construction of remedies at more than 1,060 of the 1,596 sites on its National Priorities List.

By starting or speeding up cleanup at Superfund sites, Recovery Act funding is also increasing the speed with which these sites are returned to productive use. When a Superfund site is redeveloped, it can offer significant economic benefits to local communities including future job creation.

President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act on February 17, 2009, and has directed the Recovery Act be implemented with unprecedented transparency and accountability. To that end, the American people can see how every dollar is being invested at www.Recovery.gov.

For more information on the Summitville Mine Superfund Site, please visit: http://www.epa.gov/region8/superfund/co/summitville/index.html

For more information on the Superfund program, please visit: http://www.epa.gov/superfund/


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