Leadville Mine Drainage Tunnel: Senator Udall and Representative Lamborn introduce legislation to fund and authorize Reclamation treatment of mine water

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Here’s a report from Chris Woodka writing for The Pueblo Chieftain. From the article:

“We both share a strong, deep commitment when it comes to the Leadville drainage tunnel,” Udall said. “We need for someone to step in and take responsibility,” Lamborn added. The lawmakers are sponsoring the legislation to avert disaster if the blockage in the Leadville tunnel were to give way under pressure and release a toxic flood into the Arkansas River. It will also improve the water quality of water from the mines that is returned to the river, Udall said. [ed. the toxic flood scenario was debunked by Reclamation last year].

In response to the emergency, a relief well was added to remove water backed up in the Leadville tunnel. The water was pumped to Reclamation’s treatment plant north of Leadville…

The bill would give Reclamation the authority to continue operating the relief well and to take steps toward a long-term solution. Previously, Reclamation claimed it lacked specific authority to treat water behind the blockages in the tunnel, a federal facility built to drain mines as a way to improve production in World War II and the Korean War. Reclamation and the EPA have been unable to reach a long-term solution.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here.

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