New Mexico officials on Saturday lifted the ban on using the Animas and the San Juan rivers for drinking water after a major wastewater spill in Colorado.
Gold King Mine
The Animas River Stakeholders Group, which works to clean up defunct mines, says the EPA didn't consult them before its recent remediation work at the Gold King Mine.
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.
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.