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Mine Waste Ends in River—One Way or Another

Posted by feww on August 8, 2015

EPA spills 1 million gallons of mine waste into Animas River, Colorado 

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), together with the state Division of Reclamation, Mining and Safety, were reportedly investigating an abandoned mine on Wednesday when they “unexpectedly triggered a large release of mine waste water into the upper portions of Cement Creek [a tributary of the Animas River,]” said San Juan County health officials.

The waste spill from Gold King Mine turned water in the river bright orange.

cementcreek -
Massive waste spill caused by EPA investigators turns river in Colorado bright orange. Image source: Earth Justice

EPA has advised nearby residents to keep away from the contaminated river pending the results of official tests.

“The primary environmental concern is the pulse of contaminated water containing sediment and metals flowing as an orange-colored discharge downstream,” said EPA spokesman.

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