epaOfficials from San Juan and La Plata County are taking field trips this week to see first-hand how EPA Superfunds operates.

Here is our version of how the tour’s Cliff Notes on three mines to be visited should read.

The California Gulch site in Leadville was declared a Superfund site in 1983 – that operation has been ongoing for 32 years.

The Eagle Mine site in Minturn was added to the Superfund list in 1986, that’s 29 years, which included some dastardly spills that turned the Eagle River orange. Sound familiar?

The Clear Creek-Central City Superfund site in Idaho Springs has also been ongoing for 32 years since it was listed in 1983. Combined, that’s 93 years on just three sites in Colorado, and the work is ongoing.

Super fun, right?

State and EPA officials also going on the tour are likely to gloss over these finer points, as they try to convince the county officials and members of the Southern Ute Tribe that the Gold King Mine and likely others in San Juan County should join the federal listing.

Judging by the EPA’s Superfund history in this state, one thing is for sure, cleanups do not prevent future spills. And when the feds move into one’s neighborhood, they require long-term housing.