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Don't Drink The Water, Whatever You Do


Up Front

DON'T DRINK THE WATER, WHATEVER YOU DO

Bored with the beach and the lake? Try toxic-waste tourism. The Environmental Protection Agency is setting up a $3,000 visitors' center at a Superfund site in Colorado. The soon-to-open center will display dozens of photographs of the mess and drawings explaining the $120 million, seven-year cleanup, which began in 1992. Already this summer, hundreds of sightseers have visited the site's scarred earth and cyanide-laced streams.

The site, at a ghost town in the Rockies called Summitville (elevation: 11,500 feet), is a defunct gold-mining operation dating from the 1870s. But the EPA says the real problems began when Galactic Resources, a Vancouver gold company, ran a cyanide-leaching operation from 1986 to 1992. That's where cyanide solution is poured through ore to extract gold. Galactic, which went into Canadian liquidation proceedings in late 1992, couldn't be reached for comment.Sandra Atchison


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