WASHINGTON (AP) – The Interior Department will lead a review of the Colorado mine spill that tainted rivers in three western states.
The review was announced late Tuesday after elected officials from both parties questioned whether the Environmental Protection Agency should be left to probe its own heavily criticized response to the disaster. EPA and contract workers accidentally unleashed 3 million gallons of contaminated wastewater on Aug. 5 as they inspected the idled Gold King mine.
The Interior Department’s report is expected to be released publicly in 60 days.
In addition, EPA’s inspector general is conducting a separate review of the incident. Leaders of oversight committees in both the House and Senate say they are planning hearings after Congress returns from its August recess.
Governor Susana Martinez announced that she has ordered the New Mexico Environment Department to investigate the spill too. The governor’s investigation targets the cause of the spill, the EPA’s role in the spill and the effects.