Southwestern Colorado officials are touring toxic cleanup sites this week to see if the federal Superfund program is the best way to fix the Gold King Mine and other sites spilling wastewater into rivers.
Three million gallons of wastewater gushed out of the Gold King in August, polluting rivers in Colorado, New Mexico and Utah. The spill intensified a years-long debate over how to clean up the Gold King and hundreds of other inactive mines north of Silverton that leak millions of gallons of wastewater annually.
Some residents are concerned that a Superfund designation could mean a long wait for a cleanup to begin and that banks might balk at lending money to homebuyers and businesses.
The three-day Superfund tour starts Wednesday and includes Creede, Leadville, Minturn and Idaho Springs.