EPA Accidentally Spills Millions Of Gallons Of Waste, Turning River Orange


DENVER (AP) — A million-gallon mine waste spill that sent a plume of orange-ish muck down a river in southwest Colorado on Thursday was caused by a federal mine cleanup crew…

The creek runs into the Animas River, which then flows into the San Juan River in New Mexico and joins the Colorado River in Utah…

The plume made its way to Durango on Thursday afternoon, prompting La Plata County health officials to warn rafters and others to avoid the water…  Durango stopped pumping water out of the Animas River on Wednesday to make sure none of the waste could be sucked up into the city reservoir…  Pet owners were advised to keep dogs and livestock out of the Animas.

“It’s really, really ugly,” Butch Knowlton, La Plata County’s director of emergency preparedness, told The Durango Herald (http://bit.ly/1NcOaJZ). “Any kind of recreational activity on the river needs to be suspended.”

In Farmington, New Mexico, city officials shut down water-supply intake pumps to avoid contamination and advised citizens to stay out of the river until the discoloration has passed. Don Cooper, emergency manager in San Juan County, said people should not panic because the EPA had told the county the spill would not harm people and that the primary pollutants were iron and zinc…

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