EPA Punctures Dam During Cleanup at Century-Old Mine, Sends Toxic Waste Into Rivers

August 10, 2015 12:05 PM

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The Environmental Protection Agency has acknowledged that its cleanup operation at a Colorado mine has led to the release of around three million gallons of toxic waste into the San Juan and Animas Rivers, the Washington Post reports. The agency accidentally punctured a dam holding back water filled with arsenic and heavy metals left behind by the Gold King Mine, which has been closed since 1923.

Reuters reports that the EPA has tripled its initial estimate of how much waste was released from the damaged dam before crews were able to divert the spill, which was still leaking at a rate of 500 gallons per minute on Sunday, into two newly-constructed ponds. After some of the contaminants have s...

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