Governor Martinez declares ‘state of emergency’ after Animas River spill

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Governor Susana Martinez declares a state of emergency due to the 3 million gallon waste spill in the Animas River.

By calling a state of emergency, Governor Martinez allowed additional hazardous funds to aid response efforts. It frees up an additional $750,000 in state funding. This is on top of the $500,000 in state emergency funds that NMED received on Friday. Officials say the money will be used to test water wells, study long-term effects and support response teams.

Governor Martinez also established a multi-agency response team to assist communities affected. The governor has directed the team to stay in northwest New Mexico to provide support indefinitely.

“I had the chance to see the spill with my own eyes. It is absolutely devastating, and I am heartbroken by this environmental catastrophe,” Governor Martinez said. “As I’ve said before, I am very concerned by EPA’s lack of communication and inability to provide accurate information. One day, the spill is 1 million gallons. The next, it’s 3 million. New Mexicans deserve answers we can rely on. I want New Mexicans to know that we are committed to working around the clock to keep local communities informed and protected, and providing whatever resources we can to assist communities in the affected area.”

Governor Martinez has also said that administration officials should be prepared for future legal action against the EPA.

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