August 17, 2015--Interior Department to investigate Gold King Mine accident (Durango Herald)

The Environmental Protection Agency announced Tuesday that the Department of Interior will do an independent review of the Gold King Mine blowout. According to a news release, the Interior Department will work to assess what caused the release of three million gallons of metals-contaminated wastewater Aug. 5 from the mine near Silverton. The wastewater spilled into Cement Creek, which is a tributary to the Animas River. The sludge polluted the Animas for several days as it moved downstream to its confluence with the San Juan River. The EPA, using a contractor, was working on the abandoned mine when it hit an earthen wall that had water and debris built up behind it. The rush of contaminants caused the Animas River to be closed for eight days and affected thousands of users in several communities in Southwest Colorado, northern New Mexico and southeastern Utah. The investigation began Tuesday. The news release also said details of the review by the Interior Department will be released as they become available, with full results anticipated to be made available to both the EPA and the public within 60 days. “In addition to the independent review, EPA is conducting its own internal technical examination of the incident. Both reviews will help inform ongoing and planned site assessments, investigations and construction or removal projects,” the release said. To view the full article and report visit the Durango Herald.