FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)
ABOUT ANIMAS RIVER STAKEHOLDERS GROUP (ARSG)
Q - Who is the Animas River Stakeholders Group (ARSG)?
A - The Animas River Stakeholders Group is a volunteer collaborative effort of public and private interests whose mission is to improve water quality and aquatic habitats in the Animas watershed in southwestern Colorado.
Q - Who can participate?
A - Anyone. There is no official membership. Meetings and participation are open to anyone with a "stake" or interest in the Animas River.
Q - Why are we doing this?
A - To meet specific requirements of the 1972 Clean Water Act (CWA) and amendments. To enable the local community to participate in the decision making process at state and national levels. To develop a more practical and achievable approach to water quality improvements than traditional top-down enforcement practices.
Q - What will happen if we do nothing?
A - The CWA (Clean Water Act) requires the U.S EPA, or states with delegated authoritys, to impose restrictions and cleanups necessary to meet CWA requirements. So far, the Stakeholders have successfully recommended feasible water quality standards and cleanup actions which have been adopted by the state.
In addition, CERCLA (Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act) requires U.S. EPA or states with delegated authority to control the releases of hazardous substances that may impact public health and the environment. The Upper Animas River Basin has been considered and continues to be considered a possible Superfund site. The likelihood of Superfund designation depends partly upon current remediation efforts. Stakeholders fear that Superfund will lead to unwarranted actions, higher costs, litigation and the withholding of information, reduced property values and fewer opportunities for community self determination. On the other hand Superfund does have access to more resources. Because Superfund requires 'cost recovery' of expended funds whenever possible, there is no assurance that land owners who did not create the problem would not be charged for this method of Federal managed cleanup.
Q - What Can This Process Do For You?
A - Provide technical information and possibly financial assistance for mine impact remediation opportunities. Remediation may reduce land owner liability for sites that may be impacting water with toxic metals and acid. Provide an opportunity for civic participation. Provide a forum to express your opinions, frustrations, and positive solutions.
Q - How Can You Participate?
A - Frequent our web site at www.animasriverstakeholders.org. We will be posting meeting minutes, a bulletin board, announcements and links to data and reports as they become available. (Suggestions always welcome). Provide input by postal mail, email, personal communications with participants, or attend meetings. Support the numerous volunteers and other participants who are trying to fairly represent all interests.