Wastewater from Colorado mine reaches New Mexico

A federal clean-up crew with the EPA accidentally caused a hazardous spill on the Animas River.

FARMINGTON, N.M. (AP) – A yellow sludge spilling from a shuttered gold mine into a southwestern Colorado river has reached northern New Mexico.

San Juan County Emergency Management Director Don Cooper says the plume arrived in the city of Aztec on Friday night and Farmington on Saturday morning.

Officials in both cities shut down the river’s access to water treatment plants and say the communities have a 90-day supply of water and other water sources to draw from.

About 1 million gallons of wastewater from Colorado’s Gold King Mine began spilling Wednesday when a cleanup crew supervised by the Environmental Protection Agency accidentally breached a debris dam that had formed inside the mine.

No health hazard has been detected, but tests were being analyzed. Federal officials say the spill contains heavy metals including lead and arsenic.

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