Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Lawmaker requests more info on Gold King Mine discharge from EPA

Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX)
Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX)
U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) requested more information about the Gold King Mine discharge from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Monday, as the contaminated water from the mine flows down the Animas River in Southern Colorado.

The polluted water was accidentally released during an EPA inspection of the abandoned mine near Durango, Colorado. 

“It has been five days since the spill and the EPA has failed to answer important questions, including whether the polluted water poses health risks to humans or animals,” Smith said. “It is concerning that the agency charged with ensuring that the nation’s waters are clean is reportedly responsible for the toxic water spill at Gold King Mine.”

The discharge is believed to have released heavy metals such as iron, zinc and copper into the Animas, which has caused concerns about drinking water and irrigation drawn from it, as well as general contact with the waters.

“A spill of this magnitude could be devastating for the families who live nearby and depend on the Animas River in their daily lives,” Smith said. “It is imperative that the EPA quickly take steps to repair the damage from this spill. Moreover, it is vitally important that the EPA learn why this happened and what the agency can do to prevent this from ever occurring again.”

Organizations in this story

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 1200 Pennsylvania Ave NW Washington, DC - 20460

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