Nature Takes a Hit From its Own Protectors
~ Amy Lignor
The EPA makes mistakes? Don’t be silly… Oh, wait, what’s that people are seeing out their windows in Colorado and now New Mexico? It looks almost like the sun is setting over the river, sending a burning shade of orange onto the glassy water in the heat of…wait. That is the water?
Yup. People are looking out their windows and seeing what was once a river turned into a long swath of orange goo. It looks about as disgusting as any landscape (Chernobyl, anyone?) could get. However, there is an even worse part. The goo that is traveling around houses, through neighborhoods, and affecting farms just happens to contain poisons. Lead. Arsenic. You name it, it’s in there. And the EPA – the lovers and protectors of nature – can be blamed for every single drop.
It all started in Denver, Colorado, when this first sight of disgusting, thick orange muck appeared from a million-gallon mine waste spill, which then headed down the river to quiet New Mexico. People and neighborhoods were told to take precautions BUT that there was no threat to drinking water whatsoever…yet. Downstream, other officials came out and said to completely avoid the Animas River (David Ostrander, Director of the EPA’s emergency response program/Denver.)
The EPA clean-up team was on-site at an old gold mine (Gold King Mine in SW Colorado) working to secure an entrance into the old site when their heavy equipment suddenly brought something else to light. A mine bulwark broke as they were working away and sent a huge torrent of waste downstream that raised the water level three feet in Cement Creek. An estimated 1 million gallons of mine waste was delivered into the creek that runs into the Animas River, which then continues to meet up with the San Juan River in New Mexico and the Colorado River in Utah.
It was initially said that the goo was acidic and could be a skin irritant, but then the EPA began its testing and found a list of harmful contaminants in the goo; from iron and copper to arsenic and more.
New Mexico’s Governor, Susana Martinez, said the EPA waited too long to tell her about the problem. Apparently she was not informed until almost a full 24-hours after the incident occurred. Health officials have warned those avid rafters out there that they need to avoid the water (this was not exactly listened to; Google will show you the rafters paddling around in a very gross orange river.)
Durango, Colorado, stopped pumping water out of the Animas River in order to avoid any of the awful waste ending up in the city reservoir, telling everyone, including pet owners and livestock owners to keep their animals out of the Animas until something can be figured out.
In Farmington, New Mexico (NW corner of the state), officials of the city stopped all water-supply intake pumps to avoid contamination and told citizens to stay far away from the river until the horrible color had passed. And although the EPA first stated there would be no harm to people seeing as that the waste was filled with only zinc and copper, it has turned out that the orange goo brings far more problems and a great deal more to worry about.
Fish have been contained in cages from the Animas River and will be monitored to see what any long-standing issues might be for surrounding wildlife. As far as human beings are concerned, this is a game of wait and see as the thick, disgusting orange river continues to flow.
Source: Baret News