DURANGO, Colo. (CBS4) – Elected officials in Colorado and New Mexico are in Durango Wednesday with questions for the head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency about why it took so long to report the spill of toxic water into the Animas River.
A command post has been set up in Durango by local, state and federal officials where bottled water is being passed out to residents who have wells along the Animas River. It’s also a location where all the officials will meet to give the public more information about the spill at 2 p.m.
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In Durango the river currently looks close to what it looked like before the toxic plume traveled through town. But it’s what isn’t visible below the surface of the water in the sediment that there are still a lot of questions about.
Colorado officials, including Gov. John Hickenlooper’s office and Attorney General Cynthia Coffman will be questioning EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy about the spill.
“What I have heard so far from people who live here is a great deal of concern about a lack of information. I think the lag in time for the EPA to respond has concerned them,” Coffman said. “Anytime the citizens feel that the government knows something that they don’t they get concerned. And that is really the situation.”
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McCarthy says the agency takes full responsibility for the spill. An EPA crew accidentally released the wastewater that includes heavy metals such as lead and arsenic.