WASHINGTON (AP) — Nearly 540 tons of metals — mostly iron and aluminum — contaminated Colorado’s Animas River over nine hours during a massive wastewater spill from an abandoned gold mine in 2015.
That’s according to the Environmental Protection Agency, which released a report Friday on metals released into the environment during the August 2015 spill. The report says the total amount of metals entering the river was comparable to levels during one or two days of high spring runoff.
The EPA says its research supports earlier statements that water quality in the affected river system has returned to pre-spill levels.
An EPA-led contractor inadvertently triggered the 3-million-gallon spill while doing preliminary cleanup work at the old Gold King Mine. The blowout turned rivers in Colorado, New Mexico and Utah a sickly yellow.
By MATTHEW DALY, Associated Press
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