EPA Fail: Wastewater Dumped into River

Already embroiled in an interstate clash of political titans over its recent carbon emissions regulations, the EPA found itself in damage control mode early this week.

During a routine clean-up of a century-old gold mine in southern Colorado, EPA workers mistakenly broke open a dam that forced contaminated sludge into the nearby Animas River.

EPA authorities estimate that as many as 3 million gallons of wastewater have rolled into the river prompting Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper to declare a state of emergency.

Initial tests showed a spike in arsenic and lead in the water downstream in nearby towns that rely upon the river as a major source of drinking water.

The initial $500,000 tapped by the state to aide in remediation and clean-up may be paled by what the EPA could end up spending to save seal off the mine and repair its bruised public image.