McCain Demands Action from EPA

Cleaning the Gold King Mine Spill should be a national priority, says McCain

On Wednesday, August 6th, at the Gold King Mine in San Juan County, a mining and safety team working on behalf of the EPA triggered the discharge of a wall of sludge, turning the entire Colorado River bright orange.

The orange color was caused not only by the highly acidic water but also the presence of heavy metals like iron, aluminum, cadmium, zinc, and copper, an EPA worker told the Durango Herald.

On August 12th, Sen. John McCain sent the a letter to the EPA administrator, Gina McCarthy expressing serious concern about the spill and seeking information on how the EPA intends to address its impact on communities in northern Arizona.

Part of the letter read:

All reports on the spill indicate that individuals with the EPA were responsible for breaching the tailing ponds at the Gold King Mine near Silverton, Colorado, which released about 3 million gallons of toxic wastewater with high levels of mercury, cadmium, arsenic, lead, and other substances into the Animus River.

The Navajo Nation and Coconino County, in particular, are depending on your agency to provide its full support and transparency until they are satisfied there is no longer a public health risk, and all affected communities expect that the federal government’s monitoring and cleanup of the Gold King Mine spill will be made a national priority.

Sen. McCain demanded that the EPA expose those who are responsible and hold those individuals accountable.

View before and after shots of the river to see the extent of the damage.

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