EPA chief claims Animas water quality back to “pre-event conditions”

September 2, 2015

Gina McCarthy, the chief of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has formally claimed that the water quality in La Plata County as returned to what she describes as "pre-event conditions." This announcement follows a catastrophic spill from the abandoned Gold King Mine accidentally caused by the government agency.

On August 5, an EPA cleanup crew released over 3 million gallons on acidic water into the Animas River basin, a water source shared by both New Mexico and Colorado.

McCarthy's announcement came during a 15-minute news conference at the EPA's command center in Durango. While the agency chief is in the area, she isn't planning a trip to the site of the disaster, nor does she intend to hold a public meeting over what she describes as a "heart-breaking situation."

She added that the agency will conduct both an internal investigation as well as an independent, external review to get to the bottom of how the spill occurred and to prevent similar events from happening in the future.

In McCarthy's words, the agency is "looking at those to make sure there is no similar potential that happened here that might happen in those activities, so we're going to put those on hold until we look at them all and make sure. And if there are similar situations to what we saw today, we will await the results of those investigations before we proceed with assessments or cleanup efforts."

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