DENVER (AP) – Nearly 50 mining sites in southwestern Colorado, including one that spilled a torrent of wastewater into New Mexico and Utah last summer, are a bit closer to getting funding for a comprehensive cleanup.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed adding the sites, along with seven other locations nationally, to its list of sites with priority to get Superfund funding Wednesday.

PHOTO GALLERY: Gold King Mine Tour

The EPA has proposed a Superfund designation for the Gold King Mine and other nearby sites before but residents feared it would hurt the tourist-dependent economy. Local governments along with Gov. John Hickenlooper now endorse it.

The EPA will take public comment on the proposal before deciding whether to add the sites. If they are, cleanup work could still be months or years away after studies and planning.

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