As Ronald Reagan said, the nine most terrifying words in the English language are “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.”
People living near the Animas River in Colorado surely have a new appreciation of that adage today as their once clear river took on a color witnesses described as being closer to that of carrot juice.
Don’t expect to get your daily dose of vitamins from this crud, though, as the color comes from a torrent of toxic waste from a local mine.
It seems a team of highly trained toxic waste remediation experts made a slight error of some kind.
The toxic waste water that was inside the Gold King Mine near Durango came gushing out when the team of experts used some heavy equipment to get inside the closed mine. Instead of pumping and treating the water, they spilled heavy metals including iron, zinc and copper into a creek that feeds into the Animas. The spill has already made its way to New Mexico and the San Juan River.
The EPA began testing the water for chemical levels on Thursday, and over the weekend officials said they didn’t know what the spill might do to wildlife or to drinking water in the area.