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What fallout from the Gold King Mine spill means for future cleanups in the West

SILVERTON, CO - AUGUST 11:   The town of Silverton is pictured on August 11, 2015 in Colorado. The Animas River (shown at bottom) was accidentally flooded with approximately three million gallons of wastewater from the Gold King mine last week.  (Photo by Theo Stroomer/Getty Images)
Theo Stroomer/Getty Images
The town of Silverton is pictured on August 11, 2015 in Colorado. The Animas River (shown at bottom) was accidentally flooded with approximately three million gallons of wastewater from the Gold King mine last week

It’s been eight days since an EPA-supervised crew accidentally burst a Gold King Mine plug that unleashed 3 million gallons of wastewater containing heavy metals and arsenic into the Animas River.

It’s been eight days since an Environmental Protection Agency-supervised crew accidentally burst a Gold King Mine plug that unleashed 3 million gallons of wastewater containing heavy metals and arsenic into the Animas River.

Communities in three states are increasingly frustrated about the downplayed and delayed response from the EPA and lack of information about the health impacts of the spill.

Yesterday Colorado health officials said the city of Durango can resume using drinking water treatment facilities that draw from the river. Experts believe this accident could significantly shape the way in which the EPA and others conduct future mine cleanups in the western United States.

Guests:

Jonathan Thompson, lives and works in Durango, CO, where he’s Senior Editor at High Country News

Joel Reynolds, Western director and senior attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), he has penned an Op-Ed for the Los Angeles Times titled "The Animas River spill and the myth of mine safety"

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