Losses from mine spill may be less than feared
Published 8:43 am Monday, April 3, 2017
DENVER — Economic damage from a Colorado mine waste spill caused by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency may be far less than originally feared after attorneys drastically reduced some of the larger claims, The Associated Press has learned.
Farmers, business owners, residents and others initially said they suffered a staggering $1.2 billion in lost income, property damage and personal injuries from the 2015 spill at the Gold King Mine, which tainted rivers in Colorado, New Mexico and Utah.
But the total now appears to be about $420 million. A single law firm that originally filed claims totaling $900 million for a handful of New Mexico property owners told the AP it had lowered their claims to $120 million.
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It’s still uncertain whether the White House and Congress — both now controlled by the GOP — are willing to pay for any of the economic losses, even though Republicans were among the most vocal in demanding the EPA make good on the harm.