epa simpsonsSan Juan and Silverton officials rebuffed advances by the EPA for decades to list numerous mines as Superfunds, but in light of the August spill caused by the federal agency, the county and town voted Monday night to begin negotiations to make it so.

 “… Silverton officials admitted the EPA’s hazardous cleanup Superfund program has many drawbacks – with uncertainty over funding, the potential for mistakes and inevitable clashing of opinions – but ultimately, they said, it’s the only viable option to improve water quality in the Upper Animas River Basin.”

Many residents still aren’t convinced it’s the prudent thing to do, and voiced opposition at a town meeting last week.

These cleanups tend to last decades, and once the EPA gets a toehold in the community, they don’t like to leave.

But part of the negotiation locals are seeking is that the EPA promises not to include property within the town limits as a Superfund.

We expect the EPA will make whatever promise it has to declare the region a Superfund, keeping those promises will be another matter entirely.