July 8, 2016--Pollution control systems added to Rico Argentine mine (Cortez Journal)

After last year’s Gold King Mine blowout near Silverton, which dumped 3 million gallons of heavy metals into the Animas River, eyes turned to the Rico Argentine mine. The long-closed site is on about 80 acres just north of Rico. Its leaking St. Louis Tunnel and pond treatment system sit beside the Dolores River, which provides agricultural and municipal water for 27,000 people in two downstream counties, several towns and the Ute Mountain Ute reservation. But unlike Gold King Mine, the Rico Argentine Mine has had significant pollution-control systems in place. And more control systems are planned, said Paul Peronard, the Environmental Protection Agency’s cleanup coordinator at the mine. “Here, we have a great understanding of the mineworks and have controls and monitoring in place, so we know where the pressure is,” Peronard said during a June 29 tour. “Based on that, the risk is pretty low.” To view the full article visit the Cortez Journal.