AP – New Mexico again criticized the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Tuesday over a massive mine waste spill that tainted rivers in three states, accusing the agency of lying about the seriousness of the blowout.
New Mexico Environment Secretary Ryan Flynn said the EPA misrepresented test samples taken after the spill to make water quality look better than it was.
He also criticized the EPA for saying the water met recreational standards for contamination after the spill instead of using the more stringent residential standard. In a statement, the EPA defended its testing procedures, saying they were thorough and science-based.
An EPA-led crew inadvertently triggered the release of 3 million gallons of acidic wastewater from the inactive Gold King Mine in southwestern Colorado while doing preliminary cleanup work last August. Rivers in Colorado, New Mexico and Utah were polluted with arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead, mercury, nickel and zinc and other metals.
Flynn made his accusations in the New Mexico’s official comment on the EPA’s proposal to designate the Gold King and other nearby mines a Superfund site and in a news release.
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