By Dan Elliott / The Associated Press
DENVER – Researchers say they found scattered accumulations of heavy metals along a 60-mile stretch of riverbank in Colorado and New Mexico a month after the Gold King Mine wastewater spill and say that any potential threat to crops and livestock should be studied further.
David Weindorf of Texas Tech University and Kevin Lombard of New Mexico State University said they found patches of discolored sludge containing elevated levels of iron, copper, zinc, arsenic and lead along the Animas River from around Farmington, to just north of Durango, Colo.
The concentrations of those metals were higher than at other sites they tested on the riverbank and on nearby irrigated and non-irrigated land, Weindorf said.
The high readings weren’t found in ditches carrying irrigation water to crops, Weindorf said. Irrigation systems along the Animas were closed before the tainted wastewater drifted downstream after the Aug. 5 blowout.
About 3 million gallons of wastewater rushed out of the mine after a cleanup crew supervised by the Environmental Protection Agency inadvertently breached a debris dam at a mine entrance.
The water tainted rivers in Colorado, New Mexico and Utah. The EPA has been sharply criticized for causing the blowout and for being slow to notify downstream users, including the Southern Ute Tribe and the Navajo Nation.
The EPA has said its tests of water and sediment show concentrations of metals have returned to pre-spill levels, but it’s unclear whether the agency tested the same areas as Weindorf and Lombard.
EPA spokeswoman Laura Allen said the agency will review the researchers’ findings and that the EPA plans a long-term monitoring project and has asked the affected states and tribes for input.
Weindorf described his and Lombard’s work as a pilot study and said he believes soils need to be tested over the long term. Over time, the metals they found along the riverbank could be washed into the river, get into irrigation ditches and gradually build up in the soils of land used to grow food and to graze livestock.
“There’s a risk those metals could work their way into our food chain or the food chain for animals,” he said.
End of excerpt
Bureaucracy and politics pervades so much when tragedies like this occur that I don't trust the EPA nor the Congress. On one side you have the EPA defending their own to save face for political reasons. On the other, a Republican Congress shilling for their corporate donors and Earth destroyers now excoriating the EPA as if they really care about the water, or the species, or the farmers. Both sides hypocritical. On Capitol Hill there is nothing but acrimony and in the process the true reason for caring is lost at the expense of the water, the species, the farmers, and the beauty of our rivers. The Animas like so many will not be the same again. For years it and so many of our waterways have been under attack by corporate polluters looking for ways to dispose of their filth without responsibility- and given a pass by Washington DC pimps and EPA enablers. They cannot see that it isn't about any of them in the end- but the water. Shame on them all.
9/6: FEMA Denies Navajo Nation Request For Aid In Mine Spill Recovery
Published September 5, 2015
WINDOW ROCK, ARIZONA—Three days after Navajo Nation President requested aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for recovery funds from the August 5 mine spill that released three million gallons of toxic waste in Colorado, the federal agency denied the request on Friday.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Related: Environment Activist Erin Brockovich to Help Raise Awareness Of Devastation Caused By Mine Spill
August spill was caused by a subcontractor working for the EPA that accidentally released the toxic waste into the Animus River from the Gold King Mine, near Durango, Colorado. The toxic waste made its way into the San Juan River that flows into the Navajo Indian Reservation.
FEMA denied the request because the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has already been assisting in the recovery, according to FEMA Administrator W. Craig Fugate.
To make matters worse, the EPA informed the Navajo Nation on Friday it would begin to remove water tanks that have been providing fresh water to the livestock. The Navajo Nation must now rely on the Bureau of Indian Affairs that has committed to fill two water tanks until the end of September.
Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye released the following statement later Friday, September 4, 2015:
“We are extremely frustrated with the news that both FEMA and the U.S. EPA have declined our urgent requests to continue assistance to the Navajo Nation.
The U.S. EPA caused this entire disaster, they have harmed the people, the water and the land. I appreciated the fact U.S. EPA took responsibility and I was hoping for the U.S. EPA to prove to the Navajo Nation they are willing to hold themselves accountable. This action clearly shows otherwise.
FOR YEARS, WE HAVE CONSISTENTLY BEEN AT THE RECEIVING END OF TOXIC SPILLS AND CONTAMINATION WITH NO ADEQUATE RELIEF AS THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT AND PRIVATE COMPANIES BECAME WEALTHY OFF OF THE NATURAL RESOURCES OF THE NAVAJO NATION.
This is not the end but the beginning as I will continue to fight for my people.”
This is an absolute disgrace and a sign of the systemic racism that has existed towards Native Americans on the part of this government since they first stole their land. Yet, you don't see this on your nightly news. But you will see it here.
8/23: Navajo Nation remains cautious after spill impacts water system
Members and leaders of the Navajo Nation remain cautious about water quality levels on the reservation, more than two weeks after an environmental catastrophe sent three states and two tribes into disaster mode.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
An accidental spill at the abandoned Gold King Mine released about three million gallons of contaminated waste into the Animas River. Tests showed extremely high levels of arsenic, lead, mercury in the water after the August 5 incident but results have since returned to normal in Colorado.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, similar results are being seen along the San Juan River on the New Mexico portion of the Navajo Nation. Tribal leaders, however, are still warning their citizens not to use the water for their crops or their livestock.
They also were extremely upset with the EPA for sending what they said were contaminated water tanks to farmers and ranchers in the Shiprock Chapter House area. President Russell Begaye inspected the tanks himself and found what appeared to be remnants of prior uses -- one tank was even labeled "Filterd Oil."
Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye finds residue in a water tank delivered by the Environmental Protection Agency. Photo from Facebook
The incident has prompted renewed attention to environmental conditions on the reservation. Tribal leaders are seizing on the connection and are referring to the spill and the response as Operation Yellow Water, invoking a term used in connection with the toxic legacy of uranium mining.
“It might seem like a simple term but it’s a strategic title to raise awareness in addressing broader issues of contamination on the Navajo Nation, including of our over 500 abandoned uranium mines,” Begaye said on Thursday.
I would not use the river water yet either. Remember, sedimentation lasts for years. Such a sad situation here. Of course as well, it is now not in any media and out of the consciousness of the people. Once that happens it allows TPTB to do whatever they can to do as little as they can.
I also came across this letter which states that the spill was done purposefully to secure Superfund money:
Did the EPA Intentionally Poison the Animas River to Secure Superfund Money?
All I will say on that is, I find nothing impossible.
And as far as John McCain and his feigned concern for his own personal reasons goes, the Navajo Nation knows the truth about him as well. STAY OFF THEIR LAND.
Kyl-McCain water bill drawing fire
Kyl's bill, SB 2109, includes three water projects that would bring drinking water to the Navajo and Hopi reservations in exchange for the tribes waiving their water claims to the Little Colorado River.
The three water projects authorized in the bill are the Leupp-Dilkon Regional Groundwater Project, the Ganado Regional Groundwater Project, and the Hopi Groundwater Project.
Kyl's bill also calls for the Navajo Nation to drop additional claims against the federal government regarding management of the Lower Colorado River, which "specifically affect water policy and water management in Arizona, California, and Nevada."
The bill would allow 6,411 acre-feet of water from the Central Arizona Project to be withdrawn upstream, from the San Juan River, and used for the Navajo-Gallup water pipeline.
This would help get around a legal restriction on San Juan River water, and allow it to be used by Gallup and the Window Rock area.
Under Kyl's bill, the water projects could not go forward unless federal and tribal authorities approve leases allowing the Navajo Generating Station and the Kayenta Coal Mine to continue operating.
The provision represents a gift to the Salt River Project, operator of NGS, which Kyl represented as a lawyer in private practice.
"The reauthorization will occur if and when the tribes agree to extend the leases and other agreements associated with the Navajo Generating Station," Kyl stated in his release.
The bill also calls for any water rights agreement with the tribes to be modified to match the bill, and includes a sweeping waiver of rights to the Little Colorado by both tribes.
There is more to this than meets the eye.
EPA’s McCarthy: "Contaminated water from Colorado mine will spread"
Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman said Wednesday that a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency is “on the table” after a massive wastewater spill caused by the agency fouled the Animas River last week. The mine waste contains arsenic, lead and other heavy metals.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Since not everyone trusts what the EPA is telling them, KOB has decided to get the water tested ourselves, hiring an independent lab to analyze water we’ve collected from the Animas. By doing so, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper made $500,000 of the state’s Disaster Emergency Fund available for response, the Denver Post reported Monday.
But remember, according to the EPA it's safe because according to them there are no "reported" illnesses.
8/17Animas River spill: Navajo Nation angry at EPA
CUDEI, N.M. — Outside the tribal chapter here near the San Juan River, Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye pointed to a stack of hay delivered by the Environmental Protection Agency and expressed disappointment.
"This was supposed to be here seven days ago," he said Friday, about 30 miles south of the Colorado border. "This should have been here last week."
If there was ever doubt this tribe of roughly 300,000 people is mistrustful of the federal government, such uncertainty is gone. The EPA-caused 3 million-gallon mine wastewater spill in southwest Colorado on Aug. 5 sent resentment cascading into American Indian land along with a plume of heavy-metal contaminants.
Members of the tribe, which spans 27,600 square miles across three states, anxiously waited and watched as yellow-orange sludge streamed into their sacred San Juan River four days after the spill. Navajo Nation leadership has even coined a Navajo phrase for their response — and frustration — to the disaster, calling it Tó Łitso — Operation Yellow Water.
The calamity has sent a wide swath of the tribe, already suffering from serious economic depression, into further disarray. In Navajo country, where the land has long sought to quench its drought, people fear the Gold King Mine disaster near Silverton will have impacts for decades.
"They endangered our people," Begaye said of the EPA.
The San Juan River remains closed in the Navajo Nation, and officials have warned farmers and ranchers against using its waters for crops or livestock. Irrigation wells are bone dry, and much of the tribal yield is either dying off or already dead.
Roy Etcitty stood Saturday before his ruined crops in Shiprock, N.M., and explained how the disaster is another example of why "us Indians don't trust the government." He hasn't watered his fields since officials closed the San Juan, and his horses have been blocked from drinking its waters.
He said the calamity is just another in a long line of American Indian oppression.
"The U.S. government isn't going to come through," Etcitty said. "They never come through."
In the days since the spill, Begaye has been among the most vocal in a growing chorus of politicians across the Southwest who have chastised the EPA for causing the disaster and its subsequent response.
,br> He drove nearly 225 miles from his office in Window Rock, Ariz., to see the Gold King Mine first-hand and then posted a video on Facebook explaining in both Navajo and English what was happening at the site.
Begaye said he wants the EPA to remove all contaminated sediment from the San Juan River and expects the agency to pay for his tribe's hardships and expansive emergency response. He met last week with EPA leader Gina McCarthy when she visited Durango and Farmington, N.M., to talk with responders and survey the damage.
"We wanted some solid commitments," Begaye said of the meeting, "but we didn't get that."
The San Juan River flows for 215 miles through Navajo land, making it, by mileage, the most impacted of any contiguous community. Members of the tribe say the spill has left them facing financial ruin, spiritually broken and, through and through, angry.
Officials in the Navajo Nation have told members not to agree to any settlement claims from the EPA, which in the days after the spill released a form streamlining payouts to those impacted.
The tribe's attorney general, Ethel Branch, said last week she feels the language is misleading and could bar future damage reimbursements in the years to come.
Branch has solicited an opinion from U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch and the Department of Justice on the claim form's legality and language. The EPA has repeatedly said it is not trying to bar future payouts.
Branch said she plans to sue the EPA, explaining how legal action has been "the solid message from the Navajo Nation." An emergency has been declared, and tribal officials are petitioning for help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
"The long-term effects, we just don't know right now," Jonathan Nez, the tribe's vice president, said Friday as he traveled in a motorcade during a tour of impacted areas.
Nez says the EPA's spill has reminded the Navajo people of previous contention with the federal government, particularly the cleanup of uranium pollution on their land.
"Over the years, we have never really received straight answers," he said.
So let me get this straight. The EPA is the guilty party here and yet NO ONE has had to lose their job over this. Even though that is true they are now trying to pay off the Navajo to absolve themselves without even being explicit as to what the Navajo would be signing on to. It is no wonder the Native Americans of this country distrust these agencies. I distrust them as well. This entire situation is a disgrace and the more I read on it I too am beginning to believe this may well have been done purposefully. The waste was released, the news covered it for one day and now nothing. Recreation has returned because tourist $$$$ are more important than safety as toxic sediment sinks and heavy metals still exist. The EPA is now running in the shadows to pay off people to wipe away the crime-and perhaps to even eventually gain the rights to the land and water. It is no secret that this areas has been a target for takeover for quite some time. There is an all out assault by mining companies in collusion with federal agencies to secure land in this part of the country. Oak Flat is just one current example. Yet, this is not being reported because well, the people are Native Americans and to the US government ever since their takeover Native Americans are treated as non citizens. I say as well to the Navajo, do not sign anything. Never let them take your water.
Concern Over Sediment In Animas River
Will be keeping up with news on testing.
8/12: Ranchers, Farmers Look For Alternative Water Sources After Gold King Mine Spill"
From left, Richard Root and Melvin Jones, both equipment operators for the Shiprock Chapter, fill troughs and barrels of water on Tuesday for Sarah Frank, a Shiprock resident who relied on the San Juan River for her water. The Gold King Mine spill has forced her to seek alternative sources of water for her livestock. (Alexa Rogals — The Daily Times)
SHIPROCK — With the Animas and San Juan rivers still off limits, local ranchers and farmers are looking for alternative ways to get water for their livestock and crops.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Restrictions on the rivers were put into effect after toxic metals flowed from a mine north of Silverton, Colo., into the Animas River and then into the San Juan River.
In response to the situation, officials with the Shiprock Chapter started hauling water to residents who need it for their livestock.
Melvin Jones, an equipment operator at the chapter house, delivered water Monday and Tuesday to residents in Shiprock.
"There are quite a few people on the list right now, so we'll probably be hauling water all week and into next week," he said.
br> Meanwhile, in Upper Fruitland, the corn at Jimmy and Lucy Lujan's 24-acre farm had already started to wither on Tuesday from lack of water, and the couple fears they have lost a crop of newly planted alfalfa. Lucy Lujan said she had hoped to sell the corn to pay for her grandson's tuition at San Juan College.
"You don't realize how much you rely on irrigation water," she said.
Since the plume of contaminated water flooded the San Juan River, the Lujans have been using tap water for their small herd of sheep and to irrigate their crops. The couple said they have always had plenty of water, but now they are afraid they will lose all of their crops this season.
This is having repercussions beyond just turning the river yellow. Still wondering why we have seen no firings because of this. Also reading from some people who live there that the EPA has been trying to get land and water rights in this area for a while.(?) Begs the question then: was this really an "accident?" EPA head Gina McCarthy stated that it "pains" her to see this happening. I truly doubt that. The EPA told us the air was safe to breathe after 9/11. They told us the Corexit poison BP was spraying on the Gulf of Mexico was safe. Now they will do the testing of the water of the Animas /San Juan Rivers after 3 million gallons of arsenic, cadmium and lead laced mine waste pollutes it and tell us it is safe. Seems they care more for their own than those farmers.
8/11: EPA Can Make No Decisions On Animas River Health Until August 17
Health Impact of Animas River Toxic Spill: This Is A Real Mess
While the mustard-yellow hue of the Animas River is fading, leading toxicologists say there could be health effects for many years to come from heavy metals such as lead and mercury that spilled into the water.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"This is a real mess," said Max Costa, chair of the department of environmental medicine at New York University School of Medicine. "These levels are shocking."
Exposure to high levels of these metals can cause an array of health problems from cancer to kidney disease to developmental problems in children.
"Oh my God! Look at the lead!" said Joseph Landolph, a toxicologist at the University of Southern California, pointing to a lead level in the Animas River nearly 12,000 times higher than the acceptable level set by the Environmental Protection Agency.
According to sampling done by the EPA on various points along the Animas River Wednesday and Thursday last week, levels of lead, arsenic, beryllium, cadmium and mercury were extremely high compared with acceptable levels set by the agency, which are technically called "maximum contaminant levels" or "action levels for treatment."
One of the samples of mercury was nearly 10 times higher than the EPA acceptable levels. Samples of beryllium and cadmium were 33 times higher, and one of the arsenic levels was more than 800 times higher.
But have no fear. It will all magically disappear so that TPTB can make up for all the tourist dollars they are losing. Remember, in our society money and profit trump everything else. Of course, any birth defects or other effects of this will also be downplayed.
8/10: Russell Begaye Navajo Nation President 2014
Today, President Begaye and Vice-President Nez conducted an on-site inspection of the Gold King Mine in Silverton, CO and finds reports to the Navajo Nation by U.S. EPA are inconsistent.
Be vigilant Navajo Nation.
Anger Rises as E.P.A. Increases Estimate of Toxic Water Spill at Colorado Mine
DURANGO, Colo. — Anger over a spill of toxic water from a mine that turned this community’s river into a yellow-orange ribbon rose on Sunday when the Environmental Protection Agency announced that the spill was three times larger than previously stated — and that the agency was still unsure if the polluted water posed a health threat to humans or animals.
The agency, typically charged with responding to toxic disasters, has claimed responsibility for the spill, which unleashed a chemical brew that caused levels of arsenic, lead and other metals to spike in the Animas River, a tributary that plays a vital role in the culture and economy in this patch of southwestern Colorado.
Agency officials said on Sunday that the size of the spill was larger than originally estimated: more than three million gallons rather than one million.
La Plata County and the City of Durango have declared states of emergency, and the county estimates that about 1,000 residential water wells could be contaminated. The river is closed indefinitely, and the La Plata sheriff has hastily recast his campaign signs into posters warning river visitors to stay out of the water.
The yellow plume has traveled down to New Mexico, where it is being tracked, but it is starting to dissipate, officials said.
On Sunday night, residents packed a school auditorium in Durango for a meeting with the agency’s regional director, Shaun McGrath. During a public comment session that lasted more than two hours, residents flouted a sign on the wall that instructed the auditorium’s typical patrons — middle schoolers — to refrain from calling out, jumping up or insulting others during assemblies.
Shouts rang out. A few people cried. One resident questioned whether the agency had refashioned itself into the “Environmental Pollution Agency.” Others demanded to know what would happen to wildlife, livestock, water wells, sediment and river-based jobs.
THREE TIMES larger. Why am I not surprised that the EPA lied? And for the lemmings who are not saying anything because they like their Republican counterparts base their outrage on political party, THIS IS A CRIME AGAINST NATURE. Where is the company that owns that mine in this? What of the employees of the EPA responsible for the spill? What were they really doing to cause a disaster of this magnitude? How heartbreaking to see this beautiful place ruined by negligence. We are running out of potable water on this planet. We cannot afford "ACCIDENTS."" And why is it that people are ignored when they are angered about water issues? We have so many movements regarding what matters now. Well I am here to say that #WATERMATTERS. So since the EPA lied about the extent of this "accident" we can be almost sure they will lie about the toxicity and effects. Hey Gina McCarthy- does the buck ever stop with you?
Contamination Of Animas River Becomes Declaration Of Emergency/Video
Animas River Closed to Public After EPA Dumps 1M Gallons of Waste
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.
Wastewater From Colorado Mine Reaches New Mexico
FARMINGTON, N.M. (AP) - A yellow sludge spilling from a shuttered gold mine into a southwestern Colorado river has reached northern New Mexico, a state official said Saturday.
The plume arrived in the city of Aztec on Friday night and Farmington on Saturday morning, San Juan County Emergency Management Director Don Cooper said.
Officials in both cities shut down the river's access to water treatment plants and say the communities have a 90-day supply of water and other water sources to draw from.
"There's not a lot we can do. We can keep people away (from the river) and keep testing," Cooper said. "We still don't know how bad it is."
About 1 million gallons of wastewater from Colorado's Gold King Mine began spilling into the Animas River on Wednesday when a cleanup crew supervised by the Environmental Protection Agency accidentally breached a debris dam that had formed inside the mine.
The mine has been inactive since 1923.
No health hazard has been detected, but tests were being analyzed.Federal officials say the spill contains heavy metals including lead and arsenic.
EPA:Wastewater Spill In Animas River Contains Heavy Metals
All the waste is pouring into the river and flowing downriver. The EPA said the waste also contains cadmium, aluminum, copper and calcium. The EPA didn’t discuss health risks but arsenic at high levels can cause blindness, paralysis and cancer. Muscle and vision problems can be caused by lead poisoning for adults and harm in development in fetuses, and lead to kidney disease, developmental problems and sometimes death in children, according to the EPA.
The Bureau of Reclamation has increased its water releases from Navajo Dam, from 650 to 1,300 cubic feet per second in response to the mine spill. The increased releases may help dilute mine contaminates in the river. The releases will remain at that increased level throughout the weekend and will be reevaluated on Monday.
Durango has shut down water intakes from the river until the contaminated water has passed, but the spill is not affecting drinking water. The EPA has said people should stay out of the river. Water utilities have closed intake valves to protect their systems.
Officials in New Mexico are blasting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for not informing them soon enough about a plume of mustard-colored muck floating downstream from a Colorado mine.
Contaminated Water On Its Way To Navajo
Culturally, Navajos revere water for it bringing life, a critical element in tribal ceremonies. Some Navajo medicine healers conduct offerings to the San Juan River, considered a male body of water in Navajo culture.
As a result of the spill, Navajo Nation President Russell, Navajo Nation Vice President Jonathan Nez, and Speaker LoRenzo Bates have issue statements regarding their concerns of the waste spill.
Begaye, according to a news release from his office, demands the U.S. EPA to release information on the contaminants, referring to the spill an environmental catastrophe.
“We are demanding from the U.S. EPA an immediate release of detailed information on the type of contaminants that is flowing into the river from the Gold King Mine,” Begaye said. According to a U.S. EPA press release, the contaminants include lead, arsenic, cadmium, aluminum and copper.
He went on to say that the spill is another familiar story of the U.S. government’s lax oversight responsibility.
“It is unfortunate that we have to once again tell our people to stay away from the river, due to the release of dangerous chemicals into our water,” Begaye said.
Begaye has put several tribal programs, including Navajo Nation EPA, Department of Health and Public Health Emergency Preparedness Program, on standby.
Nez added that he’s concerned with the farmers along the San Juan River.
“The contamination will probably hit Lake Powell soon,” he said, adding that the community of Mexican Hat, which pumps drinking water from the river, proceeds with caution.
“We need to monitor the water to ensure it is potable,” Nez said.
Meanwhile, Bates has been in contact with several Navajo chapters along the San Juan River. He said, according to U.S. EPA, that the contamination does not pose detrimental threats.
“I strongly urge nearby chapters and our people who reside near the San Juan River to refrain from using the water for any purposes until a thorough evaluation is completed,” Bates said.
Considering there are already 521 uranium mines in Navajo Nation that have contaminated the wind and water, I doubt that the EPA will truly care about the effects of this spill. I find it astounding that people can be so cavalier about such tragedies and their effect on the lives and culture of others.
In my previous post about the Hudson River I asked where the caring for clean water had gone. Then I read about this disaster in which the EPA admits to "accidentally" leaking 1 million gallons of mine waste into the Animas River in Colorado.
Their response to it? It was an "accident" and they are sorry. Also using the excuse that it was polluted anyway...oh and of course, the standard it is still safe for humans lie.
This is toxic waste. This is the killing of a river. It not only affects humans but the wildlife and agriculture in this area. However, that's it. Shouldn't people entrusted with protecting our environment/water be a bit more concerned?
Will be following regarding results of testing of the water. You can be sure no EPA employees will lose their jobs over this either.