A recent collaboration among local and state agencies including the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (DPHE) and Colorado Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and a mining company will ensure the continued operation of a critical water treatment plant that protects waterways from mining impacts in the Crested Butte area.
A carefully crafted agreement between the state agencies, Freeport McMoRan Inc. subsidiary Mt. Emmons Mining Company, the town of Crested Butte, and Gunnison County will ensure ongoing water treatment as the company takes ownership of the Mt. Emmons mine site from U.S. Energy Corp. The accord allays local concerns that an industry downturn affecting U.S. Energy could leave the community without resources to operate the water treatment plant, which prevents metals and related contaminants from flowing into Coal Creek, a tributary of the Gunnison River in southwestern Colorado.
“This is a victory for the community” said Gov. John Hickenlooper, “We must continue to make progress on reducing mining-related impacts to our streams and rivers. We appreciate our partnership with Freeport, Crested Butte and Gunnison County; this kind of cooperation represents how we do business in Colorado.”
For more information, contact Mark Salley of DPHE.