epaMore than one year after the Gold King Mine disaster, the EPA has coughed up $260,000 in grants for local communities and tribes to pay for the damage caused by the federal government, but individuals are still waiting on payments.

According to U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, here’s how the payments will be disbursed: Southern Ute Indian Tribe will receive $58,684; La Plata County will receive $7,495; the City of Durango will receive $9,993; San Juan County will receive $80,213; San Juan Basin Health Department will receive $4,591; and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment will receive $101,465 “to fund expenses related to the City of Durango’s water quality monitoring in support of the Bonita Peak Mining District Superfund site.”

 “The EPA is responsible for this disaster and must continue to support the communities that suffered as a result. I will fight to hold the EPA accountable and ensure all affected communities and individuals are properly compensated,” Gardner said.

Gardner authored language that was added recently to the Water Resources Development Act that would expedite the payments in the future.

The wheels of government creak awfully slowly when responding to a disaster. One would think the response would be a little quicker when the government is actually on the scene when the disaster happens, or causes the disaster. One would be wrong.