Animas River Mine Water Spill

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In the Midwest, wildlife agencies, scientists, and others are monitoring the Animas River following a release of contaminated mine water.

On August 5, 2015, Environmental Protection Agency workers were conducting an investigation of the Gold King Mine when loose material gave way, spilling the water stored behind the collapsed material into Cement Creek, a tributary of the Animas River.

The initial EPA estimate of the size of the spill was one million gallons.

On August 8, the president of the Navajo Nation declared a State of Emergency for the San Juan River valley.

On August 9, the City of Durango and La Plata County declared a state of emergency in their jurisdictions due to the contamination of the Animas River.

Also on August 9, EPA officials revised the Gold King Mine discharge estimate to 3 million gallons.

The Colorado Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office has been monitoring the effects of the spill on terrestrial and aquatic wildlife since the incident began.

The 126-mile-long Animas River is a tributary of the San Juan River.