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Nov 13, 2013 7:45 PM by Zach Thaxton

New spill at Cotter Corp. worries nearby residents

A recent spill of contaminated groundwater on the grounds of the Cotter Corporation former Superfund site in Fremont County is renewing concerns among nearby residents.  The spill happened earlier this month from underground PVC piping.  "A coupler failed and there was a release of groundwater to the surface," said John Hamrick, Vice President of Mill Operations.  "The relase was groundwater, which has uranium in it and molybdenum from the mill operations here."

Hamrick says the exact amount spilled is not known, but is estimated to be between 4,000 and 9,000 gallons.  It is the fourth, and largest, spill in the past four years at the defunct mill.  "This shows the potential of any spill or release on the site of getting into the groundwater once again," said Carol Dunn, Co-Chair of Colorado Citizens Against Toxic Waste and a business-owner of 40 years in Canon City.  She wants the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to push Cotter to finish cleanup of the controversial site.  "Not necessarily the cheapest, not necessarily the quickest, but the best cleanup so that, once again, our area will not have to worry about underground water and what's happening down there and keep our water safe," Dunn said.

Hamrick insists Cotter is cleaning up according to government standards.  "We're working closely with the appropriate entities to make sure that we meet all the standards for cleanup at this site," Hamrick said.  "Since this spill was entirely contained in the area -- basically about 100 by 100 feet, or something like that -- there's no exposure (to the general public), so there's no health concern," Hamrick said.

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