Home / National News / Prosecutors Keeping Close Eye on EPA After Toxic Mine Spill


(WASHINGTON) — The Environmental Protection Agency is vowing to make things right in Colorado, New Mexico and Utah after last week’s accidental release of 3 million gallons of waste water from an old mine. But it be too little, too late?

Rivers turned orange following the release, which was triggered by an EPA clean up team at Gold King Mine near Silverton, Colorado.

A team of scientists and researchers have been working with the EPA to contain the spill and prevent the mine waste from moving further downstream. Though the EPA claims chemicals in the Animas River have already returned to pre-spill levels, prosecutors in those states are maintaining a close watch over the EPA’s actions.

Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman says the impact of the waste water release is still very apparent, contrary to EPA test results showing improvement.

“There is orange sediment on the bottom of the river, on the banks, on some of the rocks,” Coffman said Wednesday.

Even as EPA Chief Gina McCarthy visited Durango, Colorado, Wednesday, Coffman and her colleagues from New Mexico and Utah — which are downstream — say they are not ruling out suing the EPA.

“We are going to move as quickly as we can,” McCarthy told reporters earlier this week in Washington, D.C.

“It does take time to review and analyze data,” she continued. “As far as I know, we have been thankful that there is no reported cases of anyone’s health being compromised.”

McCarthy heads to New Mexico Thursday to continue tracking the toxic spill’s impact.

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