ARSG Prehearing Statement»


BEFORE THE COLORADO WATER QUALITY CONTROL COMMISSION
STATE OF COLORADO
PREHEARING STATEMENT FOR CONSIDERATION OF CHANGES TO WATER QUALITY CLASSIFICATIONS AND STANDARDS FOR SAN JUAN RIVER BASIN, REGULATION
#34 (5 CCR 1002-34) PERTAINING TO THE ANIMAS RIVER WATERSHED,
THE ANIMAS RIVER STAKEHOLDERS GROUP

Background

The Animas River Stakeholders Group (ARSG) was initiated in 1994 by the Water Quality Control Division (WQCD) to try to resolve water quality issues involving metal loading in the Upper Animas River Basin ( defined here as the watershed upstream of Bakers Bridge). Participants in ARSG have included federal land management and federal regulatory agencies, state regulatory agencies, local governments, mining companies, environmental groups, and interested citizens. The group does not assign blame, does not get involved in permitted mining sites, and operates by informal consensus.

Participants in ARSG have characterized approximately 175 draining mines and 160 mine waste piles, determined initial feasibility of remediation for many of those sites, proposed water quality standards (adopted by the Commission in 2001) and conducted approximately 60 mine remediation projects. While many improvements in water quality have been seen in parts of the Upper Animas Basin, overall water quality in the Animas River below the Town of Silverton has declined because of increases in metal loading from upper Cement Creek, a tributary of the Animas River, and location of some previously permitted mines. Because of the decline in water quality, 46 mining sites and two study sites were included in the formation of the Bonita Peak Mining District Superfund Site in 2016 under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA, 42 U.S.C. §1906 et seq.).

Proposal
ARSG respectfully requests the Water Quality Control Commission (Commission) change the acute and chronic aquatic life cadmium standards from the current Table Value Standards (TVS) to the equations used in EPA’s new cadmium criteria for certain stream segments which have aquatic life classifications.  View the full proposal here:  Proposal

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