New Mexico Official Blasts EPA Over Gold King Mine Spill

February 11, 2016
Photo: EPA worker at Gold King Mine (AP Photo)
An Environmental Protection Agency contractor works on the clean up in the aftermath of the blowout at the Gold King mine, which triggered a major spill of toxic wastewater, outside Silverton, Colo., Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2015.

Environment Secretary Ryan Flynn on Wednesday told members of a state legislative committee that the agency plans to monitor water quality for one year to ensure it's safe for recreational use.

Flynn said the agency instead needs to treat the incident as a human health issue.

New Mexico announced last month it intends to sue the EPA, the state of Colorado and the owners of two Colorado mines over the Aug. 5 spill. The EPA claims a contractor accidentally unleashed more than 3 million gallons of contaminated water during a cleanup project.

The EPA did not immediately respond to Flynn's criticisms.

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