EPA spill: ‘We looked at the river and we cried’
From his backyard in Durango, Colorado, Tom Bartles can see the Animas River, which was stained an unnatural orange.
The Environmental Protection Agency accidentally released millions of gallons of pollutants into the water last week, turning the typically blue water to the color of mustard.
“Everybody in town knew it was coming. It was hard to wake up in the morning and see an orange river,” Bartles, 52, told CNN. “Many of the locals in this region are probably going to experience a certain level of mourning.”
By Monday, the plume of heavy metals had largely moved on and the river looked like it had cleared. A tourist probably wouldn’t notice anything was off, but a local would know it’s not quite right, Bartles said.
And for him, the biggest concern wasn’t the immediate threat anyway; it’s the spill’s potential long-term and cumulative impact.
‘We all share this crisis’