The blasted EPA accidentally dumped a huge amount of pollutants into a river in Colorado turning it orange. Many are already defending the EPA saying the “accident” wouldn’t have happened if the mine they were working on didn’t have those chemicals anyway.
Now I am not ignorant of dangerous chemicals often used in mining, although I don’t know exactly what went on here. The article says the pollutants that were released were primarily iron and zinc. It also says there were no fish in this river because of longstanding water impairment. It doesn’t tell us why the river was already messed up. I don’t like dumping chemicals in water or on the earth. But the key is what kind of chemicals and how much over what length of time. Otherwise the EPA will fine you…Which begs the question here. Will the EPA fine themselves? Who is going to be responsible for cleaning this river up, if that is even possible?
Here’s the article:
SILVERTON, Colo. – A mine waste spill has spewed about a million gallons of orange-colored discharge into a tributary of the Animas River.
The Environmental Protection Agency said it triggered the release while using heavy machinery to investigate pollutants at the Gold King Mine north of Silverton.
The La Plata County Sheriff’s Office has closed the river to the public.
“This decision was made in the interest of public health after consultation with the Environmental Protection Agency, the Colorado Department of Health and Environment, San Juan Basin Health Department and representatives of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe,” advised Sheriff Sean Smith. “This Order shall remain in effect until it is determined that the river is safe. EPA test results of the Animas River are expected within 24-48 hours, and the Order will be re-evaluated at that time.”
Environmental authorities are scrambling to assess damage from the leak, caused when a plug blew at the Gold King Mine near Silverton. Earlier today, officials say that drinking water is not affected and that the spill is not harmful to humans. The primary pollutants are iron and zinc.
The EPA says that about 1 million gallons of mine waste spewed into Cement Creek, which feeds the Animas.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment says that there are no fish populations in the Cement Creek watershed because of longstanding water quality impairment.
The Bureau of Reclamation will release more water from the Navajo Dam in order to dilute the merger from the Animas into the San Juan River in Farminigton, NM.
City of Farmington officials are urging residents to stay out of the river and to keep live stock from drinking the water if discoloration is present.
Farmington’s drinking water is unaffected, city officials said.
The New Mexico Governor’s office criticized how the EPA released information about the spill. In fact, her office learned about the spill from the Southern Ute Tribe, according to the governor’s spokesperson Chris Sanchez.
“The Governor is disturbed by the lack of information provided by the EPA to our environmental agencies in New Mexico and strongly believes that people in our communities downstream deserve to have all the information about this situation,” Sanchez said in a statement.