Official who fought EPA over mine spill quits

Posted at 11:39 AM, Dec 17, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-17 18:14:08-05

Colorado's top environmental official is stepping down, months after he clashed with federal authorities over a massive spill of toxic wastewater from an inactive mine in southwest Colorado.

Mike King's resignation was announced Thursday. The executive director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources had led the agency since 2010.

King clashed with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency earlier this year over the Gold King mine disaster. The EPA said that Colorado officials endorsed its cleanup operation at the mine. But in a September letter to the EPA, King said that Colorado officials neither approved nor disapproved of the operation. The August spill polluted rivers in Colorado, New Mexico and Utah.

A statement from Gov. John Hickenlooper Thursday said that King plans to take a new job with Denver Water.