ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A year after a mine spill sent millions of gallons of toxic waste into New Mexico, Governor Susana Martinez is pressing the EPA and the state of Colorado to pay up.
The spill happened a year ago on August 5th. The incident has since led to lawsuits and long-term monitoring of the area.
The blowout at Colorado’s Gold King Mine north of Durango leaked 3 million gallons of mine waster water, exposing the animals and San Juan River systems to toxic metals after EPA contractors accidentally blew open a retention wall.
The governor says the spill was devastating to New Mexicans and wildlife.
Gov. Martinez says a “long-term impact review team” is still monitoring any long-term effects the spill could have on communities, agriculture or wildlife in the state.
The state has also sued the EPA, its contractors, the mine owners and the state of Colorado, seeking more than $130 million in damages.
Work to stabilize the Gold King Mine started early last month and will last through October.
The mine opening will be reinforced with steel and concrete.