ADEQ Responds to Animas River Spill from Gold King MinePHOENIX (August 10, 2015) – Any potential release that could threaten Arizona’s water supplies is cause for concern. At present, available information suggests that the Gold King Mine spill has not affected Arizona’s surface, ground or drinking water. EPA preliminary data collected within 24 hours of the spill showed that contaminant levels were 50 percent lower after moving about 10 miles downstream of the release site – Lake Powell is located another 250 miles further downstream.
ADEQ is taking the following steps to address potential future impacts, should they occur, to Arizona waters:
- We are sending a team of water quality monitoring professionals to conduct baseline sampling upstream and downstream of the Glenn Canyon Dam, which creates Lake Powell. We will collect additional samples, as appropriate.
- We are closely examining facts and actions being undertaken by involved local and state agencies (Colorado, New Mexico, Utah) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency concerning this release. We are participating on daily calls to coordinate and stay informed with these agencies.
- Based on our continuing monitoring and analysis of the situation, we will be in a position to further advise Arizonans and water systems. We will continue to keep the public informed as we gather additional information.
About ADEQEstablished by the Arizona Legislature under the Environmental Quality Act of 1986, the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality is the state’s regulatory agency for protecting and enhancing public health and the environment of Arizona.