Finally Gary Knippa of CJK Milling has replied to some of the concerns of many local people in the letters to the editor section of the Herald on Oct. 7. It was a very smooth presentation. Knippa states that he “is communicating with representatives from both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.”
That is easy to say when no official is named or quoted.
The impacts for Leadville demand a statement. The Lake County commissioners should be on top of this. Let us insist that our elected representatives formally contact both of these agencies for a report of what they know.
Many questions are glossed over by Knippa in his letter. For instance, he says “All water will be recycled and no water will be discharged from the mill into the environment.” So why would they need 30,000 to 40,000 gallons of water every day from Parkville Water District? Something fishy is going on. If this operation gets started, we should insist on frequent testing of ground and surface water south of the mill site.
Another unanswered question is what happens to the mine waste after they have extracted the gold and silver remaining in the tailings piles. Will we have more and more of Leadville’s eyesores, those black hills along U.S. 24 south of town where nothing grows?