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Mine waste discolors river that saw 2015 Gold King spill

Oct 10, 2019

DURANGO, Colo. (AP) — Wastewater from a mine in southwestern Colorado has spilled into a river that was the site of a major spill caused by a government cleanup crew four years ago.

Christina Progress with the Environmental Protection Agency told The Durango Herald on Thursday the scope of the spill north of Silverton was still being determined.

Progress says the agency was notified Wednesday night that the Animas River was being discolored by wastewater from the Silver Wing Mine. The mine is within the federal government's Bonita Peak Superfund cleanup area, but work on it has not yet begun.

In 2015, an EPA-led crew accidentally triggered a blowout at the Gold King Mine that sent a 3-million-gallon (11.4-million-liter) torrent of mustard-colored wastewater into the Animas, contaminating rivers in Colorado, New Mexico and Utah.