The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is installing a barrier and valve inside an inactive Colorado mine to prevent another surge of toxic wastewater.
Government investigators say the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency had no rules for working around old mines when the agency inadvertently triggered a massive spill from a Colorado mine that polluted rivers in three states.
The agency inadvertently triggered the 3-million-gallon blowout in August 2015.
The EPA said Friday the claims could be refiled in federal court, or Congress could authorize payments.
The total amount of metals entering the river system was comparable to levels during one or two days of high spring runoff.
The Environmental Protection Agency said Friday it will pay $4.5 million to state, local and tribal governments for their emergency response to a mine spill that the EPA triggered.
US clears way for cleanup of Colorado mine after huge spill.