CO Mine Spill Watched for Animas Impacts

UPDATE: We have not observed any water quality effects in the Animas River in NM resulting from the Silver Wing Mine discharge discovered last week in Colorado. We will continue to closely monitor water quality data until any risk of contamination from the incident has passed. The city of Farmington, City of Aztec and Lower Valley Water Users Association have shut off water intakes to municipal drinking supplies out of an abundance of caution.

Update from the New Mexico Environment Department 

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

UPDATE: We have not observed any water quality effects in the Animas River in NM resulting from the Silver Wing Mine discharge discovered last week in Colorado. We will continue to closely monitor water quality data until any risk of contamination from the incident has passed.

 

From the San Juan County Office of Emergency Management:

Thursday, October 10, 2019:

Thursday afternoon San Juan County Emergency Management was made aware of a discharge of mine waste water which may reach the Animas River.


Bureau of Land Management and US Environmental Protection Agency report that the discharge happened on October 9, 2019 from the area of Eureka Gulch, north of Silverton, CO. Officials report that the Silver Wing Mine has ‘burped’ this waste water and was not a result of any Bonita Peak Superfund Site work or the Gold King Mine.


The waste water source is about 10 miles from the Animas River and is moving slowly. The spill is expected to dilute by the time it reaches Silverton.
So far, the contamination is considered to be minimal, as is the impact to the Animas River. It is not yet known if the river color will change.
It could be at least 72 hours before water quality is affected in San Juan County, NM. The effects are expected to be minimal. San Juan County Office of Emergency Management will continue to monitor the situation.


At this time the EPA is NOT issuing notice to close municipal drinking water supplies, as the waste should be greatly diluted by the time it reaches the New Mexico border.


The city of Farmington, City of Aztec and Lower Valley Water Users Association have shut off water intakes to municipal drinking supplies out of an abundance of caution.


At this time, the volume of spill or contents of the water is not yet known. EPA officials are conducting tests to learn more.
The Office of Emergency Management is in the process of notifying stakeholders and will continue to update water users.
There will be more information released as it is available.

 

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