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Gold King Mine Spill Citizens’ Advisory met to discuss sediment

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Group discussed effects of lead in soils, EPA’s gladstone treatment facility, and spring runoff

Santa Fe – New Mexico’s Gold King Mine Spill Citizens’ Advisory Committee, based out of San Juan County, met July 25 at the San Juan Community College Student Center-SUNS Room.

Bruce Yurdin, program manager with the New Mexico Environment Department’s Surface Water Quality Bureau provided an update on the Long-Term Impact Review Teams’ acquisition of x-ray floresence technology for the testing of lead in soils and the current status of sediment in the Animas/San Juan watershed. Yurdin also discussed the Environment Department’s observations at the Environmental Protection Agency’s mine wastewater treatment facility at Gladstone, Colo., the results from the 2016 Spring runoff, and an overview of EPA’s Fate and Transport Model, which attempts to measure the effects of the spill.

The Citizens’ Advisory Committee is a group of 11 citizen volunteers from Northern New Mexico, including the Navajo Nation, who provide a forum for public concerns while tracking the scientific long-term monitoring activity of the Gold King Mine spill’s effects in the state.

The CAC was established by Gov. Susana Martinez in 2015, along with New Mexico’s Long-Term Impact Review Team to work with stakeholders regarding the continuing effects of the Aug. 5, 2015 mine blowout that EPA officials have admitted to causing. The blowout released three million gallons of mining wastewater laden with 880,000 pounds of metals into the Animas and San Juan River systems.

For more information please visit NMD’s Gold King Mine website, nmedRiverWaterSafety.org. For CAC information please visit, env.nm.gov/river-water-safety/animas-river-citizens-advisory-committee-public-participation-page.

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