Colorado Spill Is FAR Worse Than What Was First Reported


The Environmental Protection Agency now states that THREE millions gallons of toxic sludge was washed out into the Animas River. In addition to arsenic and lead, the EPA states that the spill contains, cadmium, aluminum, copper, and calcium.


La Plata County and the city of Durango, just south of Silverton, have declared a state of emergency as the EPA and other officials are still determining the environmental and health effects of the spill.

Water samples collected near the site of the spill found higher-than-average levels of arsenic and other metals, EPA toxicologist Deborah McKean said Sunday, according to the Denver Post. Yet those levels are diluting as the waste plume moves down river, she said.

“Those concentrations increase for a few hours and then decrease again by the next sampling period,” she said. “Those numbers are high and they are scary because they seem so high. However, risk associated with exposure to a chemical is a matter of how much of the chemical you are exposed to.”

Some residents along the Animas have reported discolored drinking water. EPA crews are checking water samples, McKean said. The river will require ongoing monitoring, as future storms will kick up toxic sediments, the EPA said

The bright orange toxic sludge has crossed the state border into New Mexico, reaching the New Mexico municipalities of Farmington, Aztec, and Kirtland. The Animas flows into the San Juan River in New Mexico, and the San Juan flows into Utah, where it joins the Colorado River at Lake Powell. The leading section of the plume was headed toward Utah and Montezuma Creek near the town of Bluff, according to reports. The plume could reach Lake Powell by Wednesday, experts said.


Meanwhile, Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye said over the weekend that he will take legal action against the EPA for the spill.

“They are not going to get away with this,” Begaye said Saturday, according to KOB-TV.

The toxic plume is winding its way through the Navajo Nation, Begaye said, speaking in northwest New Mexico before a crowd of concerned residents who live near the San Juan River.

“The EPA was right in the middle of the disaster and we intend to make sure the Navajo Nation recovers every dollar it spends cleaning up this mess and every dollar it loses as a result of injuries to our precious Navajo natural resources,” Begaye said.

“I have instructed Navajo Nation Department of Justice to take immediate action against the EPA to the fullest extent of the law to protect Navajo families and resources,” he added.




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