NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – The application process has opened for projects that may be funded with $10 million received as part of the Gold King Mine Settlement. The settlement funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provided to the Office of the Natural Resources Trustee is available for projects that restore or replace injured natural resources like river, land, and watershed restoration and conservation, or projects that were impacted by the Gold King Mine release.

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In August 2015, EPA contractors were trying to clean up the Colorado mine when they released millions of gallons of acidic drainage and toxic metals into the Animas and San Juan rivers. The spill turned the rivers burnt orange and affected drinking water and crop irrigation.

Local public officials and state agencies are encouraged to submit proposals that utilize this funding for the benefit and restoration of natural resources, outdoor recreation, and farming across the San Juan and Animas Watersheds in northwest New Mexico. Project proposals will be accepted online from now until Friday, Sept. 30. Information about the project solicitation process, eligibility and evaluation criteria is available online.