International News

Toxic Spill Affects Local Streams: Residents Demand Answers

by Allanah Leahy – EM TV Online

Three million galleons of toxic wastewater are now affecting local streams in the US state of Colorado.

US Environmental Protection Agency workers were behind the spill, and the agency recently clarified that the spill is three times the amount they initially reported.

The spill happened at an abandoned mine near Colorado’s Animas River, which then began measuring arsenic levels 300 times the normal level. Suspicious and angry Colorado residents gathered at a meeting with the US Environmental Protection Agency, with pressing questions on health implications and the disclosure of information.

“Tell us what’s in the water. Tell us what’s in the water,” Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye demanded, receiving much applause.

“So, you’re lying to everyone about what’s going, you really don’t know what is going on at all, you can’t answer any of the questions effectively, because you really don’t know,” one angry resident said.

The spill was triggered by an Environmental Protection Agency crew that accidentally breached a dam full of waste, which then saw an orange-tinged slurry of chemicals such as arsenic, lead, aluminium, copper and calcium released into Cement Creek, and eventually Colorado’s 126 mile-long Animas River.

Plumes from the spill managed to reach Utah, situated nine hours from Colorado, as of yesterday evening.

Meanwhile, in Japan, 25 nuclear plants are facing legal challenges from locals in their attempt to restart operations. One that has succeeded is the Fukushima nuclear plant, one of the largest nuclear power plants in the world, which shut down in 2011 after a tsunami and earthquake caused a disastrous emergency and meltdown.

The plant was reactivated on Tuesday, despite hundreds of protesting residents, still facing the aftereffects of the 2011 disaster, which saw hundreds of tonnes of radioactive water leaked into the Pacific Ocean.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe endorsed the return of nuclear energy, in order to cut back on the nation’s dependence on imported energy.

Source: Reuters

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