No sooner did U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner announce his bill passed the Senate to expedite payment from the EPA to pay for their damages in last year’s mine spill, did the unfaithful agency find a way out of those demands.

They will pay, but less than a quarter of what they owe to state, local and tribal governments.

The EPA says it will only pay out $4.5 million of the $20.4 million it cost us to deal with their mess.

In reporting the news, the AP did not provide a breakdown for how much of that money Colorado asked for or stands to receive, but stated that La Plata County was short-changed $29,000 from more than $400,000 it requested.

From La Plata County Manager Joe Kerby:

“We are extremely disappointed in their response,” Kerby said. “Disappointed but not surprised.”

EPA rejected some of the county’s costs because they came after Oct. 31, 2015, the day the EPA closed down its incident command center. But Kerby said the county kept accumulating response costs after that.

The EPA sure has an interesting way of taking responsibility for the mess, which they pledged to do numerous times in town meetings.

Every entity affected can appeal this decision. We recommend that they do so.