Downtown_Silverton,_ColoradoIt’s one thing when a federal agency embroiled in scandal dumps documents on the media on a late Friday night to hide their misdeeds in weekend coverage.

But it’s a scandal unto itself when the EPA in this case, drops documents on the residents of San Juan County on a Friday outlining plans to take control of nearly 50 mines in the region to designate a Superfund.

Attention residents, you have until 4 p.m. today to read all of those documents and make your case, before the San Juan County commissioner and Silverton town trustees vote for or against creating the Superfund region officially named the Bonita Pike Mining District Site.

Of the nearly 50 mines the feds will take over is the Gold King Mine, where the EPA caused the spill that somehow now requires them to take over the county.
Not everyone is on board, according to the Durango Herald:

Sharon Lantz referenced a town hall meeting last fall when an EPA representative told community members that Superfund status would spike their property values 18 percent – a figure that reappears on the fact sheet posted Friday.
“I spoke to a tenured Realtor in Leadville who told me that their home values dropped by an amazing 80 percent,” Lantz posted Friday on Facebook. “I think the EPA’s statement is disingenuous at best. Have any of our elected officials talked to real estate professionals?”

Superfunds increase property values? Since when? The EPA’s claim is pure bunk.

The EPA also hopes to appease critics by creating an “advisory board” to keep the locals informed. We have no doubt that board will be filled with environmentalists who will cheerlead the EPA on every move they make.

The meeting today in Silverton for residents to voice their opinions will be at the Town Hall, and the website containing the proposed Superfund information is here.

However, it looks like the decision has already been made.

According to the Herald, the EPA sent a letter dated Feb. 18 to Gov. Hickenlooper asking for Colorado to sign off on the designation — a day before the agency told us that nearly 50 mines would be included.

It appears as if public comment is a mere formality, and objections by residents won’t get much consideration before the final decision is made this week.

Ironically, we seem to recall that when environmentalists didn’t get months to submit their comments on whether mining could continue at Colowyo, the court made the government conduct public comment all over again.

When it’s the federal government coming in to take over mines, those same rules don’t seem to apply.