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Know the West

Superfund won’t save Silverton


If one looks at the broader story of hardrock mine impacts — worldwide and through history — the story is always the same (“The Gold King Reckoning,” HCN, 5/2/16). The public subsidizes the impacts, despite all the talk about “free markets.”

Unfortunately, if one is expecting a solution now that Silverton has “allowed” the Environmental Protection Agency to take an active role, I wouldn’t hold my breath. Both the metal-mining industry and the Environmental Protection Agency are in deep economic trouble, the former due to low metals prices and the latter because it has been financially and politically gelded for decades. Industry (in general) made sure that the funds to continue Superfund activities largely “disappeared” starting in the late ’80s.

Robert E. Moran, Ph.D.
Golden, Colorado