DURANGO, Colorado (AP) — The spill of toxic wastewater from an abandoned gold mine high in Colorado's San Juan Mountains caused untold millions in economic disruptions and damages in three states — to rafting companies, Native American farmers unable to irrigate, municipal water systems and possibly water well owners. And largely because the federal government inadvertently triggered the release, it has vowed to pay the bill.
That bill could be years in the making. Attorneys general from Colorado, New Mexico and Utah vowed to ensure citizens and towns are compensated for immediate and long-term damages from the spill. But Colorado's attorney general, Cynthia Coffman, acknowledged it could be years before the full impact is known.
DURANGO, Colorado (AP) — The toxic waste gushing from a Colorado mine and threatening downstream water supplies in at least three states will continue to be dangerous whenever contaminated sediments get stirred up from the river bottom, authorities said Wednesday, suggesting that there's no easy fix to what could be a long-term calamity.
The immediate impact of the 3 million gallon spill was easing as the orange-tinted contamination plume becomes more diluted on its way into Lake Powell along the Utah-Arizona border. But the strong dose of arsenic, cadmium, lead and other heavy metals is settling out as the wastewater travels downstream, layering river bottoms with contaminants sure to pose risks in the future.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Russell Begaye stared into a hole in the side of a Colorado mountain, watching as yellow water contaminated with heavy metals poured out and raced down a slope toward a creek that feeds rivers critical to survival on the nation's largest Native American reservation and in other parts of the Southwest.
At the Gold King Mine, Begaye, president of the Navajo Nation, couldn't help but see the concerned faces of his people — the farmers who no longer had water for corn crops and the ranchers who had to scramble to get their cattle, sheep and goats away from the polluted San Juan River.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Townspeople affected by the millions of gallons of waste spilled from an abandoned gold mine and now flowing through their communities demanded clarity Tuesday about any long-term threats to their water supply.
Colorado and New Mexico made disaster declarations for stretches of the Animas and San Juan rivers and the Navajo Nation declared an emergency as the waste spread more than 100 miles downstream, where it will reach Lake Powell in Utah sometime this week.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Local officials in towns downstream from where millions of gallons of mine waste spilled into a southwest Colorado river are demanding answers about possible long-term threats to the water supply.
Colorado and New Mexico declared stretches of the Animas and San Juan rivers to be disaster areas as the orange-colored waste stream made its way downstream toward Lake Powell in Utah after the spill Wednesday at the abandoned Gold King mine near Silverton, Colorado.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Farmers, towns and tribes slammed water-intake gates shut as a sludge-laden plume from a Colorado mine spill rolled down principal rivers in the desert Southwest on Monday, prompting local officials and families to demand answers about possible long-term threats from heavy metals borne along by the spill.
Colorado and New Mexico declared stretches of the Animas and San Juan rivers to be disaster areas as the orange-colored waste stream estimated to be 100 miles long churned downstream toward Lake Powell in Utah after the spill Wednesday at the abandoned Gold King mine.
DENVER (AP) — Beneath the western United States lie thousands of old mining tunnels filled with the same toxic stew that spilled into a Colorado river last week, turning it into a nauseating yellow concoction and stoking alarm about contamination of drinking water.
Though the spill into the Animas River in southern Colorado is unusual for its size, it's only the latest instance of the region grappling with the legacy of a centuries-old mining boom that helped populate the region but also left buried toxins.
DENVER (AP) — The mustard-colored muck that spilled from a Colorado mine and surged into a river contains heavy metals including lead and arsenic, federal environmental officials confirmed Friday, but they didn't immediately discuss amounts in the water or health risks.
The spill also contained cadmium, aluminum, copper and calcium, the Environmental Protection Agency said. During a public meeting in Durango, EPA Regional Director Shaun McGrath did not mention whether the elements posed a health hazard but said local authorities were right to close the Animas River to human activities.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A mining company that wants to tap one of the world's largest uranium deposits sued Virginia on Wednesday to end a decades-long state moratorium on mining the radioactive ore.
Virginia Uranium Inc., which puts a market value of $6 billion on the deposit, filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court to have the 1982 ban lifted so it can begin mining the 119 million-pound deposit near the North Carolina line.
In an Op-Ed for National Review, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a Republican presidential hopeful, said he would end the ban on crude oil exports, halt the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan and leave energy regulation to the states if elected.
President Barack Obama wants Congress to pass legislation commemorating the centennial anniversary of the National Park Service, approve new infrastructure updates and set up an endowment for future projects, The Hill reports.
Rival factions in OPEC are split over whether the cartel should include oil-price forecasts in its imminent long-term strategy report, pitting Saudi Arabia and its allies, who wish to exclude price assumptions, against Iran and other members, Bloomberg reports.
The White House on Wednesday announced a set of actions aimed at supporting Alaskan communities impacted by climate change, including $17.6 million in grants for rural water infrastructure, new relocation funding and improved coordination between the state and federal governments, The Hill reports.
Shell CEO Ben van Beurden said the company's newly approved takeover of BG Group would allow it to become a "simpler and more profitable company" during a prolonged period of low oil prices, Platts reports.
Oil prices continued their downward slide Wednesday morning on news that U.S. crude stocks increased last week, Reuters reports. U.S. crude for October fell $1.93 to $43.48 per barrel, a 4.25 percent decline, while Brent crude dipped $1.51, or 3 percent, to $48.05 per barrel.
The European Union is poised to extend until March 15 a set of sanctions aimed at specific Russian and Ukrainian-separatist firms and individuals in an effort to press Russia to fully implement a ceasefire in Ukraine by the year's end, The Wall Street Journal reports.
A Dutch court ruled that a joint natural gas venture operated by Royal Dutch Shell and Exxon Mobil in the Netherlands must compensate homeowners for declining property values linked to drilling-induced earthquakes, Reuters reports.
Hitachi Ltd. is looking to expand its research into offshore wind energy and is considering development of a new manufacturing line that would produce parts for 5-megawatt systems by March 2016, Bloomberg reports.