The U.S. Forest Service says it’s weighing options when it comes to renewing a closure of caves and abandoned mines in Colorado and four other states. The news comes as one environmental group is calling for even more closures in the West to prevent the spread of White Nose Syndrome, which has killed millions of bats on the East Coast.
Water poluted by high mineral content flows from the abandoned Argo Mine near Idaho Springs.
Credit Bruce McAllister / Environmental Protection Agency - Public Domain
Colorado Senator Mark Udall took to the US Senate floor Tuesday morning in an attempt to find better ways volunteers can legally help clean up abandoned hard rock mines in the west. Polluted water flows out of these mines and that can contaminate entire watersheds.
Colorado’s abandoned mines are notorious safety and environmental hazards. Congress is working on legislation that could accelerate the clean-up and closure of the potential death traps. But the idea is not without hazards of its own.