DURANGO, Colo. (CBS4) – Gov. John Hickenlooper, who famously said he drank fracking fluid to make a point about its safety, drank from the recently contaminated Animas River on Wednesday.
Three million gallons of waste from the Gold King Mine poured into the Animas River last week, prompting a state of emergency and a shutdown of all river activities.READ MORE: COVID In Colorado: Inmates At Denver County Jail Will Begin Getting Vaccinations
The governor toured the affected area on Tuesday, the head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency arrived on Wednesday, and the attorneys general of three states were present to ask questions.
The EPA, responsible for accidentally releasing the wastewater from the old mine, originally said test results would not be available until mid-August.READ MORE: COVID Restrictions In Colorado: Custer County Commissioners Vote To Drop All Restrictions, Open Up 100%
However, EPA director Gina McCarthy said in her news conference Wednesday that early tests show the river has returned to its pre-spill condition.
The Colorado State Health Department notified the city of Durango on Wednesday that the river was safe enough to begin using again and treating for drinking water.
PHOTO GALLERY: Gov. Hickenlooper Tours Animas River
To make a point about its safety, the governor drank water straight from the Animas River, as captured by the Durango Herald. The newspaper said he wisely used a purification tablet to kill any bacteria.MORE NEWS: COVID In Jeffco: Teachers Use Visual Aid To Protest Return To In-Person Learning
Officials said it is not advised for citizens to do the same because although the river is said to be at its pre-spill condition, it was not safe to directly drink from even prior to the disaster.