Administrator McCarthy’s Statement About Ongoing Fieldwork at Mines
August 12, 2015: While we continue to investigate the root causes of last week’s release of mining waste at the Gold King Mine in Colorado, we are instructing our Regions to immediately cease any field investigation work at mines including tailings facilities, unless there is imminent risk in a specific case. We are in the process of initiating an independent assessment by a sister federal agency or another external entity to examine the factors that led to last week’s incident. Based on the outcome from that assessment, we will determine what actions may be necessary to avoid similar incidents at other sites. While we stand down on existing field investigations and assessments at these mining sites, we also are instructing our Regions to identify existing sites with similarities to the Gold King Mine site and to identify any immediate threats and consider appropriate response actions.