Craig briefs: Group to host meeting with Sen. Baumgardner
August 12, 2015
The Bears Ears Patriots will host a town hall style meeting with Colorado Sen. Randy Baumgardner at 7 p.m. Aug. 13 at the CNCC Bell Tower Building, 50 College Drive in Room 201. The event is free to the public.
Community meeting on Colowyo slated for Wednesday
A community meeting will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at Downtown Books to discuss the newly released Colowyo Coal Mine South Taylor Environmental Assessment. Residents are encouraged to attend and make comments on the assessment in an effort to support Moffat County's local mines.
The deadline for comments is Friday, and local officials remind residents that all the comments will be read. They're asking people to help the community be heard through commenting on the assessment. Additionally, residents can make comment at supportcolowyo.org by Friday.
Jewell sends 'Thank you' letter to Kinkaid
U.S. Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell sent Moffat County Commissioner John Kinkaid a thank you note for facilitating the meeting in Glenwood Springs last month. Kinkaid and other Moffat County officials met with Jewell to discuss the Colowyo lawsuit.
"As noted at the meeting, I appreciate your engagement and recognize the importance of the Colowyo jobs in the region," Jewell wrote in the letter. "My teammates at OSMRE and the Fish and Wildlife Service continue their hard work to address the EIS deficiencies and ESA consultation within the timeframe specified by the judicial ruling."
Kinkaid said he was happy to see the letter.
Recommended Stories For You
"I've never gotten a handwritten note from someone like that before," he said. "I hope Judge Jackson is as nice as she is."
The Memorial Hospital announces resurfacing
The Memorial Hospital will be resurfacing and re-striping the main parking lots at the hospital. The work begins Thursday and will end Sunday. TMH will work to accommodate all patient parking needs, and apologizes for the inconvenience.
EPA Plan for Animas River recovery requested
Following up on their earlier letter requesting that Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy visit the site of the Animas River spill, Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colorado, Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colorado, and Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Colorado, wrote to the EPA administrator to request that the EPA establish and disclose its plan for the both the near-term cleanup of the recent release into the Animas River and a long-term plan to ensure economic and environmental recovery.
The letter reads:
"Dear Administrator McCarthy: On Aug. 5, the work conducted by EPA at the Gold King Mine led to the release of approximately three million gallons of contaminated water and sediment into Cement Creek and the Animas River in southwest Colorado. Reports indicate that the mine is still leaking contaminated water and sediment into the river. Additionally, the toxic stream has now expanded across New Mexico and into Utah. We write to request that the Environmental Protection Agency establish and publicly disclose its plan for the near-term cleanup and mitigation of the Gold King Mine release. We believe a full emergency response team needs to be on the ground in Durango with adequate funding and staffing to respond to this disaster. In addition, we request that the EPA release a long-term plan to ensure full economic and environmental recovery of the affected area. The cleanup and mitigation plan should include information on what short and long term water quality tests the EPA will conduct on the Animas River and surrounding watersheds, how often samples will be taken, and when the fully-interpreted, toxicologically-relevant results will be released to the public. These water quality test results need to be publicized and include information on the effects on humans, wildlife, and livestock as well as municipal water supplies and agricultural users. In addition, in the long-term, the EPA needs to complete a risk assessment regarding the possibility of future mine blowouts and a plan for handing such a spill if it occurs. Even though EPA has announced a claims process for compensating citizens who suffer injury or property damage, the EPA should ensure that such compensation also includes assistance to individuals, local businesses, and agricultural producers who have lost significant revenue or taken significant losses due to this tragedy. This should include a system for state, tribal, county, and city officials to seek reimbursement for expenditures they have incurred as the result of the toxic release. Finally, EPA should commit to covering costs sustained by non-profits who have conducted water quality sampling and other services related to mitigating this disaster. The Animas River is the lifeblood and economic driver of La Plata and San Juan Counties. We would appreciate your agency providing all of the resources possible so that the affected communities can begin to recover. Thank you for your attention and consideration."
Craig Daily Press takes photo submissions
The Craig Daily Press welcomes photo submissions from community members. If you have cool photos you took while on vacation, camping or hunting, or even photos of your child's birthday party, submit them to editor@CraigDailyPress.com.
Photos must be at least one megabyte in size and clear, meaning blurry photos should not be submitted. Include the name of those in the photo, along with the date and place it was taken. The newspaper prefers recent and timely photos.