Animas River Spill Is ‘Tragic’ — EPA Accidentally Releases One Million Gallons Of Wastewater Into Stream

The Animas River spill is “tragic,” the EPA regional director said, after the agency accidentally released one million gallons of wastewater into the otherwise pristine waters.

It is indeed tragic to see the photos of the now-orange-looking Animas River after the spill was triggered by EPA workers Wednesday morning. The workers were investigating a concerning acid discharge from Gold King and three other mines in the mountains north of Silverton, according to the Denver Post.

Before the spill reached the Animas River, it entered the Cement Creek at 10:30 a.m. and moved downstream close to Silverton, where both bodies of water meet. The EPA workers were using a heavy digging machine, said EPA’s on-scene coordinator, Hayes Griswold.

“We were investigating where we could put in a pipe to try to drain rising waters inside the mine. The EPA crew had stopped working momentarily.

“We had found the hard rock I wanted to find overhead. All of a sudden, there was a little spurt from the top.”

Animas River spill graphic
Image via Denver Post

EPA officials flew in on Friday and determined the Animas River spill was not handled properly in its initial stage and the severity of the situation was downplayed. This resulted in the failure to anticipate the impact the spill would have downstream.

Angry residents were voicing their opinion after their beloved Animas River was poisoned by the spill and turned orange. During this time of the year, residents of Durango enjoy fishing, swimming, tubing, and entertaining tourists along the river.

As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the Animas River spill has forced local authorities to close a 126-mile-long stretch, and testing is underway to determine just how bad the contamination is. Results were expected on Friday night (August 7).

Some images of the devastating effects of the Animas River spill have been posted to social media showing the soupy-orange waters now seen in the area.

Even though the EPA has apologized to residents over the Animas River spill — which reportedly has the toxic elements arsenic, lead, cadmium, aluminum, and copper — they didn’t go into detail about how this will affect the area in the future.

[Image via Twitter]