Gold King Mine Settlements Documents
On August 5, 2015, the Gold King Mine, located in the Upper Animas Watershed in southwestern Colorado, was the site of a significant blowout that released millions of gallons of water laden with toxic metals and acidic waste into Cement Creek, then into the Animas River and the San Juan River in New Mexico, the Navajo Nation, and Utah. The plume of contaminated water adversely affected New Mexico residents, agricultural and recreational tourism industries, and natural resources along those rivers. For more information please see the ONRT Gold King Mine page.
In response to the release, the New Mexico Environment Department and the Attorney General filed a lawsuit in May 2016 against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the EPA contractors, and certain mine owners, seeking recovery of response costs, damages, and injunctive relief. New Mexico aggressively pursued its claim for six years seeking to hold the EPA and others accountable. As a result of that litigation, the New Mexico Environment Department and the Attorney General reached settlements with each of the defendants. The relevant documents are listed below:
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Settlement and Restoration Plans
Contractor Defendants Settlement
Mining Defendants Settlement and Restoration Plan
Settlement with the Mining Defendants-2021
In January 2021, the State of New Mexico and Sunnyside Corporation and its parent companies, Kinross Gold Corporation and Kinross Gold, U.S.A., Inc. (the three mining companies are collectively referred to as the “the Mining Defendants”) reached a settlement that includes a payment of $1 million by the Mining Defendants to the ONRT to implement natural resource restoration projects. On March 1, 2021, the settlement was approved by the U.S. District Court in a Consent Decree.
Settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-2022
In June 2022, the State of New Mexico and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reached a settlement that includes a payment of $10 million by the U.S. EPA to ONRT to implement natural resource restoration projects.
Settlement with the Contractor Defendants-2022
In December 2022, the State of New Mexico and U.S. EPA contractors Environmental Restoration, LLC and Weston Solutions, Inc. known together as the “Contractor Defendants”, reached a settlement that includes a payment of $2 million by the Contractor Defendants to ONRT to implement natural resource restoration projects.