From The Crested Butte News (Mark Reaman):
Crested Butte will ask the state to allow the town to be directly involved in the Colorado Water Quality Control Commission’s proceedings dealing with Coal Creek and temporary modifications currently in place.
The request for so-called “Party Status” comes at the request of the Coal Creek Watershed Coalition (CCWC). Coalition board president Steve Glazer came to the council Monday, September 21 with the request.
Temporary modifications of in-stream water quality standards have been in place for Lower Coal Creek for more than 20 years. Those standards are reviewed every three years by the state.
At the 2012 hearing, the state required U.S. Energy, the mining company responsible for the potential molybdenum mine and current water treatment plant on Mt. Emmons, to develop a study plan to address uncertainty regarding pollution sources impacting Coal Creek. Data collection from the study will culminate this year.
The Water Quality Control Commission is set to review the temporary modifications and evaluate progress on the study. Glazer feels the process will likely be continued into 2016 and may include new rule-making involving new standards for Coal Creek.
Given the town’s inherent interest in the watershed, CCWC felt it appropriate to have the town participate.