Across the state, there are 148 mines that are "likely impacting water quality with no active treatment," according to the Department of Public Health and Environment.
Gold King Mine
But there’s still no information on the orange sediment that the toxic plume laced with heavy metals has left in the riverbed and on the banks.
"The levels of the toxic metals that are in the water are now low enough, says Ron Hewitt Cohen, a mine cleanup expert.
State attorneys general say they’ll be watching the effects to ensure that land is restored and residents are compensated damages.
Colorado's chief medical officer said preliminary water test results look promising. The EPA isn’t ready to draw any conclusions.
- Note the color of the water from which the evolved fish is crawling: yellow, just like the muck in the Animas River.Read more
Water samples taken after the spill showed lead concentrations in some places that were 3,500 times the normal levels.
In the meantime, state agencies are helping the EPA determine the environmental and health impacts of the accident.
EPA toxicologist Deborah McKean says the sludge laced with heavy metals moved so quickly after the spill that it would not have harmed animals that consumed it.
Southwestern Colorado residents still need to steer clear of the Animas River, officials say.