Lawmaker’s aide: EPA freeze won’t stop Colorado mine cleanup

The agency inadvertently triggered the 3-million-gallon blowout in August 2015.

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DENVER (AP) — A spokeswoman for Colorado Republican congressman Scott Tipton says the cleanup of a massive mine waste spill in southwestern Colorado won’t be affected by the Trump administration’s freeze on some environmental spending.

Liz Payne said Wednesday that Tipton’s office got assurances from the White House that restoration work and water quality monitoring after the Gold King Mine spill will continue.

The spill polluted rivers in Colorado, New Mexico and Utah.

The administration ordered a temporary suspension Tuesday of new business activities at the Environmental Protection Agency, including work assignments to contractors.

The EPA oversees the Gold King cleanup. The agency inadvertently triggered the 3-million-gallon blowout in August 2015.

The freeze created widespread confusion about its reach. Tipton’s statement was the first word on whether the Gold King would be affected.

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