Anger Rises as EPA Says Colorado Mine Spill Is Larger Than First Thought
The New York Times
August 10, 2015
Kim Cofman and her daughters Acacia, 12, left, and Cayenne, 14, try to stir up sludge from the Gold King Mine that covers the bottom the Animas River on Saturday in Durango, Colo. Jerry McBride / The Durango Herald via AP
DURANGO, Colo. - Anger over a spill of toxic water from a mine that turned this community’s river into a yellow-orange ribbon rose over the weekend when the Environmental Protection Agency announced that the spill was three times larger than previously stated - and that the agency was still unsure if the polluted water posed a health threat to humans or animals.
The agency, typically charged with responding to toxic disasters, has claimed responsibility for the spill, which unleashed a chemical brew that caused levels of arsenic, lead and other metals to spike in the Animas River, a tributary that plays a vital role in the culture and economy in this patch of southwestern Colorado.
Agency officials said Sunday the size of the spill was larger than originally estimated: more than 3 million gallons rather than 1 million.