The toxic wastewater that gushed from a shuttered gold mine in southern Colorado nearly a week ago — fouling the Animas and San Juan rivers with a mustard yellow tinge — has brought to the surface a more menacing concern.
With an estimated 55,000 abandoned hard-rock mines pockmarking a landscape across Colorado and other parts of the West, this could happen again — and it's only a matter of time for these "ticking time bombs" to go off, environmentalists and researchers warn.
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