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Water cleanup bill in delicate dance with mining law reform

Just outside of Central City in Colorado's Gilpin County, the historic Perigo gold mine drains metal-laden water at an average of 70 gallons per minute into a small perennial stream known as Gamble Gulch. Below the mine for six miles, the gulch is virtually devoid of life, according to the Colorado Division of Reclamation, Mining and Safety. A design for a proposed project has been completed, but Colorado won’t bid it out for construction because it worries that if it does, it open itself up, in perpetuity, to a lawsuit under the Clean Water Act.