Health Officials Say Animas River Trout Are Safe To Eat

September 2, 2015

Health officials say trout from the Animas River are safe to eat even after they were exposed to contaminants from a massive wastewater spill last month.  

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment analyzed fish tissue after the wastewater release from the Gold King Mine in Silverton. It found that metals from the trout in the Animas River were below detectable levels. All the samples were below risk thresholds set by the Environmental Protection Agency.

In a statement, the state health department said:

"Because there is a potential for fish to concentrate metals in their tissue over time, the department and Colorado Parks and Wildlife will continue to monitor levels of metals in Animas River fish. New data will be analyzed and results reported when available."

The agency, along with contractors, accidentally released the orange wastewater August 5 . A plume laced with heavy metals traveled into the Animas River in southwest Colorado as well as the San Juan River in New Mexico. It eventually ended up in Lake Powell.

The spill is being investigated by the Department of the Interior as well as the Office of the Inspector General. 

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