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State to pay $2M a year to keep gold mine site clean

July 10, 2018

SUMMITVILLE, Colo. (AP) — The state of Colorado is set to take on the $2 million a year financial burden of a cyanide gold mine that became an environmental disaster.

The Denver Post reports Colorado must pay the $2 million for Summitville Mine, a bill that the EPA has been handling for the last 27 years, starting in 2021 for cleaning a fluctuating flow of up to 2,100 gallons (7.949.1 liters) a minute of toxic water that drains down a once-pristine mountainside.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment will use the money to run a $18 million industrial water treatment plant.

The plant houses huge stainless-steel vats of burbling brown sludge. Toxic metals are chemically coaxed and filtered out.

Colorado also must oversee the artificial covering and drainage ditches 1.7 square miles (4.4 sq. kilometers) of tundra scarred by open-pit mining..

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Information from: The Denver Post, http://www.denverpost.com

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