Last week, in a blunder only a government organization could achieve, the EPA released over 3 million gallons of contaminated water into the Animas River. These contaminants came from an abandoned gold mine and contain lead, arsenic, beryllium, cadmium and mercury.
This is worrying, since the Animas River is an important resource for the communities around it, both as a source of drinking water and as recreation for tourists. It is unclear at this point what impact this will have and when the water will be safe to drink. All the more reason to not rely solely on the tap for your water source.
Some people are upset at the EPA — both for the initial spill and its response.
Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye has announced he intends to take legal action against the federal agency.
“They are not going to get away with this,” Begaye said in a statement. “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.”
In a statement from NMED, state engineer Tom Blaine said that the EPA took no action to alert residents of New Mexico to the potential danger, and did not notify the state directly.