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An EPA team in working to clean and treat waste water in a Silverton, Colorado, mine threw opponents of the agency a bone by accidentally spilling at least three million gallons of toxic waste water into the Animas River last week, creating a plume that is now 100 miles long and stained the river yellow.

New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez declared a state of of emergency Monday afternoon following similar emergency declarations from the governor of Colorado and the Navajo Nation.

The toxic plume consists of heavy metals, including lead and arsenic (which are not good for you) shut down drinking systems across the Navajo Nation in New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah, and farms along the Animas and San Juan river valleys have been left without irrigation water for crops.

Officials in New Mexico and Colorado are pissed because they say the EPA did little to inform them of the disaster, and originally misrepresented the magnitude of the spill.

“In the immediate wake of the spill and in the days that followed, there was a troubling lack of communication from EPA to federal, state, and local officials,” said New Mexico Senators Tom Udall, Martin Heinrich and Representative Ben Ray Lujan in a joint statement. “Our offices, as well as leaders in the state and our constituents, had to learn of the spill and critical details from news reports before receiving any information from EPA?”

 

 

“The magnitude of it, you cant even describe it,” Governor Martinez said, adding that the state was informed by the Southern Ute Tribe, not the EPA. “They knew that that was going to flow right into the state and we could’ve worked faster and harder to minimize the impact on the state.”

The plume reportedly reached Utah Monday evening and is headed for Lake Powell.

EPA officials (hopefully not the ones that caused the mess) are working through data to determine the long-term effects of the disaster, with one administrator confirming that much of the sediment would settle to the bottom of the river bed (meaning it will be sticking around for a while).

Expect to hear more about the spill and EPA screw ups as the plume continues to spread across three states and Republican presidential candidates continue their campaigns.

EPA Boneheads Spill 3 Million Gallons Of Wastewater & Turn Colorado River Orange

 

SOURCE/SOURCE

 

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