Office of Natural Resources Trustee releases draft Natural Resource Restoration Plan for injuries caused by 2015 Gold King Mine release 

Agency seeking public comment on plan to fund 10 projects from settlement with US EPA and EPA Contractors 

The New Mexico Office of Natural Resources Trustee (ONRT) announced (listen in Diné) that it is seeking public comment on the Draft Natural Resource Restoration Plan # 2 for the 2015 Gold King Mine Release. The draft restoration plan proposes funding for 10 natural resource restoration projects using $12 million recovered from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and EPA contractors for injuries in New Mexico resulting from the release caused by the August 2015 Gold King Mine blowout. 

The Draft Restoration Plan proposes full or partial funding of the following projects:  

  • $480,000 – City of Aztec, Construction of North Main Wastewater Management Infrastructure  
  • $950,000 – City of Aztec, Rehabilitation of Raw Water Reservoir 1 
  • $2,000,000 – City of Farmington, Construction of Whitewater Wave and Irrigation Diversion Dam at Farmington Gateway Park  
  • $65,575 – Navajo Nation Department of Fish and Wildlife, Construction of Nenahnezad Chapter San Juan River Boat Ramp  
  • $1,803,000 – New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission, San Juan River Water Lease Agreement Partnership  
  • $205,226 – New Mexico State Parks Division, Construction of an Aquatic Invasive Species Station on San Juan River Quality Waters  
  • $681,440 – San Juan County, Construction of San Juan River Public Boat Ramps and Park Improvements  
  • $2,300,000 – San Juan County, Construction of the San Juan County Extension Service Office Building  
  • $1,000,000 – San Juan County, Construction of Water and Wastewater Improvements for the Totah Subdivision 
  • $1,616,600 – San Juan Soil and Water Conservation District, Construction of Irrigation Ditch Diversion Project 

Comment Period Dates: From April 1, 2023 to May 1, 2023, ONRT will accept comments relating to the Draft RP. Comments must be received in writing or submitted electronically on or before May 1, 2023 at 5:00 PM MST. Comments received after the deadline may not be considered.

Accessing the Draft RP:  the Draft RP is available here or may be requested from the New Mexico Office of Natural Resources Trustee by email at; by phone at (505) 670-6499; or by mail at 121 Tijeras NE, Suite 1000, Albuquerque, NM 87102.

Address Comments to: Comments can be submitted online at , via email to or by mail to 121 Tijeras NE, Suite 1000, Albuquerque, NM 87102.  Comments should be addressed to Sara Gerlitz Peck, New Mexico Office of Natural Resources Trustee and should reference: Draft Natural Restoration Plan #2 for the 2015 Gold King Mine Release. Written or electronically submitted comments received during the public comment period will be evaluated by ONRT and incorporated into the Final Restoration Plan, as appropriate. 

For More Information: Please see the Gold King Mine settlements documents and ONRT’s Gold King Mine page.

Farmington River Walk, Animas River, NM
Animas River, Farmington, New Mexico