On August 5, 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) used heavy equipment to enter a defunct mine (Gold King) causing a massive leak of 3,000,000 gallons of mustard-colored toxic sludge.
The EPA failed to immediately warn the public about the crisis -- it was a full day later that they finally began issuing water use warnings. To make matters worse, emergency settling ponds have failed to contain the water.
Damage from the disaster could last for years.
HOW BAD IS IT?
There are 3,000,000 gallons of toxic waste that is now flowing into the Animas River. This caused the level of lead to grow to 12,000 times higher than usual. Other heavy metals that have been released into the river including Arsenic, Cadmium, Beryllium and Mercury.
The Animas & San Juan rivers are both affected by this toxic leak -- these rivers serve as a source for five water supply systems.
All together, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona & Navajo Nation are all impacted by this tragedy.
HOW CAN I HELP?
The Navajo Nation is working tirelessly to make sure that the EPA doesn't get away without paying for the consequences of this tragedy.
The Navajo Nation has already declared a State of Emergency and is actively pursuing legal action against the EPA to hold them accountable for their conduct.
You can help us further by staying informed, volunteering, or donating to our cause.
The toxic water flowing along the Animas River in Colorado and into the San Juan River in New Mexico.
WATCH: Learn More About The Disaster
As tests are being made, the long term impact the leak will have on the environment are still not clearly known.
Exposure to high levels of heavy metals such as mercury, cadmium and arsenic can cause an array of health problems, from cancer to kidney disease to developmental problems in children.
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