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Published on Sep 16, 2015
U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) spoke at a U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW) oversight hearing on the Gold King Mine spill that occurred on August 5. The committee examined the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) response to the accident, which caused a large plume of bright orange toxic waste to spill into the Animas and San Juan Rivers and pollute the Four Corners region, and the subsequent impact it had on the environment and economies of local states, communities, and Indian tribes.
Senator Heinrich highlighted the need for reforms to federal mining laws. He displayed maps of New Mexico and Colorado--the two states most affected by the spill--that show the abandoned hardrock mines and the waters polluted by hardrock metals.