Headlines – December 14, 2021

Headlines December 14, 2021


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Sunnyside Gold Corporation Reaches Agreement Over 2015 Gold Mine Spill

Colorado state officials have reached a million-dollar settlement on Monday over a 2015 mine spill near Silverton. The 1.6-million-dollar settlement with Sunnyside Gold Corporation finds the company responsible for the damage caused by waste water that spilled from the Gold King Mine back in 2015.

During the spill, acidic waste water from the mine damaged natural resources in the surrounding Bonita Peak Mining District Superfund Site, which sits just north of Silverton. It also spilled into the Animas River and turned the river water orange.

From there, the mine waste made its way into the San Juan River, which travels through New Mexico, the Navajo Nation, and eventually merges with the Colorado River.

According to Colorado attorney general Phil Weiser’s office, this week’s settlement finds that Sunnyside Gold Corporation’s decision to plug a different mine resulted in the spill. Blocking that mine caused contaminated waste to build up inside the nearby Gold King Mine, and eventually spill out.

The attorney general’s office says the settlement money will be used to restore the surrounding damage as well as damage caused by other releases of hazardous materials. The Colorado Natural Resources Trustees, which includes the head of the state’s Department of Natural Resources, the head of the Department of Public Health and Environment, and the attorney general approved the agreement. Now, the settlement agreement will go through a 30-day public comment period before the courts decide whether to approve it.

Judge Sentences Truck Driver To 110 Years In Prison For Fiery I70 Crash That Killed Four People

A Jefferson County District Court judge has sentenced a truck driver to 110 years in prison after he was found guilty of killing four people in a fiery crash on I70. The judge issued the sentence yesterday after he determined it was the mandatory minimum sentence set forth under state law requiring consecutive sentences without judicial discretion.

A jury in October found the driver guilty of four counts of vehicular homicide among other counts of assault and careless and reckless driving stemming from an April 2019 crash on Interstate 70 in Lakewood.

The driver, 23 at the time of the crash, lost his brakes in the high country and failed to take a runaway truck ramp before his speeding semi-trailer rammed into stopped traffic. The crash caused a fiery, 28-car pileup that killed four people and wounded six others.

Denver City Council Fails To Overturn Mayor Veto On Flavored Tobacco

Denver City Council failed to pass a ban on flavored tobacco products yesterday. With an 8 – 4 vote, City Council failed to meet the nine votes it needed to overturn Mayor Michael Hancock’s veto. Denver City Council initially passed the ban last week. The mayor vetoed the ban on Friday.

Supporters introduced the ban in October, intending to curb youth tobacco use, particularly associated with vaping. It targeted flavored tobacco products in all establishments in Denver with exemptions for Hookah, natural cigars, pipe tobacco, and harm reduction tools. Hancock said the ban would have a negative impact on local businesses and would not be effective in preventing youth tobacco use as users could continue to buy products in neighboring jurisdictions.

Weld County Commissioners Agree To No longer Publish Vaccine Information Beyond The County Social Media Platforms And Beyond

Weld County Commissioners have agreed to no longer publish information about COVID-19 on the county’s social media platforms and department websites. As a home rule charter county, Weld County does not have an independent board of public health. If commissioners say they will no longer publish information about COVID-19 on the county’s social media platforms, the county health department can’t publish information either.

At a board meeting on Nov. 24, three members of the public admonished the commissioners for Facebook posts on the Weld County website regarding vaccines. They pointed to one Facebook post explaining a timeline for those who wanted to be fully vaccinated in time for the holidays. Commenters said the post made them feel pressured to get vaccinated.

The Weld County Commissioners say the post came at the advice from a paid consultant who the county hired to conduct a study on how to increase the area’s vaccination rates.

American Red Cross Of Colorado & Wyoming Sending Disaster Responders To Kentucky

The American Red Cross of Colorado & Wyoming is deploying five disaster responders to Kentucky as part of relief efforts to help those affected by last week’s devastating tornadoes. According to a press release from the American Red Cross, the relief organization is moving as quickly as it can to get additional volunteers, supplies, and help to the hardest hit areas.

Boulder City Council Will Consider New Oil And Gas Regulations Before The New Year

The Boulder City Council will hold a public hearing this evening for an emergency measure that will put into place new oil and gas regulations before the city’s current moratorium will expire on December 31st. The Colorado Oil and Gas Commission, under the 2019 passage of Senate Bill 181, now grants local governments the authority to impose limits on oil and gas activity within their borders.

Among the proposed regulations, oil and gas operators will be required to provide a series of applications, an alternative site analysis, along with holding neighborhood meetings in impacted areas. Oil and gas sites will also need to be 2,000 feet from any residential dwelling, school, or licensed childcare facility or a 2,500 foot setback for multi-well pads. According to a city memo reviewed by The Daily Camera, very few properties in the city limits will be eligible for oil and gas operations based on the 2,000 foot setback. The City Council will begin tonight’s meeting at 6pm.