The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released more information about its response to the Aug. 5 Gold King Mine spill last week, including 96 new data trend graphs, public records and photographs.
The agency’s graphs were created based on pre and post-event data on the Animas and San Juan watersheds, which the EPA analyzed for 24 metals. Using that data as a baseline, the EPA created graphs for arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury in the surface water of 24 sampling locations that were chosen based on the quantity of samples taken.
The graphs released last week show the trending concentrations of the metals at sites where five or more samples were taken.
The graphs all show surface water samples trending towards pre-event levels, though the agency expressed concern over the concentration of these metals in soil that could be released in the future.
The EPA also released documents into the public record in the form of a contractor’s Draft Technical Memo on the spill. This includes photos, a description of the events in the photos from an EPA on-scene coordinator and a memorandum from an EPA phone duty officer that calls for the filing of the incident and its aftermath.