The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) think that 3 million gallons of mine wastewas leaked into the Colorado Animas River (CAR) due to a dam breach the agency caused.

Because of the scale of the spill, the EPA warned that the contamination is actually 3 times the amount previously assumed.

The waste came from the Gold King Mine (GKM) in Colorado and has made its way beyond Farmington, New Mexico.

Agents from the EPA were responsible for a massive amount of arsenic, lead and mercury being emptied into the CAR at 500 gallons per minute.

The EPA was reportedly trying to divert the spill into two ponds what were set aside for waste water while it was awaiting treatment for acidity.

Deborah McKean, chief toxicologist for the Region 8 Toxicology and Human Health and Risk Assessment at the EPA said that the spill’s contaminants would not cause “significant health effects” to humans and wildlife; however this heavy metals laden water has a fight on their hands about whether or not there is cause for concern.

McKean said: “Yes, those numbers are high and they seem scary. But it’s not just a matter of toxicity of the chemicals, it’s a matter of exposure.”

The EPA has deployed “water quality experts” to various areas to sample water for testing and encouraged “people there to take advantage of water quality sampling” themselves.

To assist, the EPA offered to provide necessary materials to people in Farmington and Aztec for private well sampling.

The concern now is that residents and livestock do not have access to drinking water because of this massive spill. Residents with wells are being advised to have their water tested before bathing or drinking; and people with pets should “not be allowed to drink the water”, nor should any fishing be conducted, as well as wildlife in the areas affected should not be killed for meat.


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