Wednesday, August 26, 2015

230 Colorado Mines Are Leaking Heavy Metals Into State Rivers

After the 3 million gallon Gold King Mine blowout, Colorado officials began scrambling to create a map of a problem they've known about for years: 230 other old mines statewide leaking heavy metals-laced muck into headwaters of the nation's rivers. These old mines have leaked so much for so long, thousands of gallons a minute, that state agencies don't track the combined toxic flow. But by the estimates at sites where the Environmental Protection Agency has stepped in, the overall discharge equals at least one Gold King disaster every two days — spreading cadmium, copper, lead, arsenic, manganese, zinc and other contaminants. "We're not OK with any of this. We're not OK with contaminated water running into waterways," said Ginny Brannon, director of reclamation, mining and safety for the state.


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