Congressman Ben Ray Luján and Senator Udall Issue Statements on the Mine Spill in the Animas River

U.S. Senator Tom Udall has issued the following statement about the contamination of the Animas River by the Gold King Mine in San Juan County, Colorado:

“The release of wastewater into the Animas River from the Gold King Mine in Colorado is of great concern to me and the Northwestern New Mexico communities that could be affected as the spill moves downstream. My office is engaging the Environmental Protection Agency and all federal agencies that can assist with information and response. I am calling on all relevant federal agencies to ensure potentially affected areas in New Mexico and the Navajo Nation will get the attention and services they need. We will continue to stay in communication, and my staff and I stand ready to provide assistance to any community or individuals in need. The Animas and San Juan rivers are important drinking water sources for New Mexico. I will push for answers to how this incident happened, and I won’t rest until we are sure that any possible impacts to the downstream communities or the environment have been addressed to the greatest extent possible.”

Congressman Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico’s Third District released the following statement today on the recent spill of mine waste that has reached the Animas River.

“The Animas River is a vital source of water to communities in San Juan County and the Navajo Nation, and this spill that has released heavy metals into the water is of great concern.  The EPA must act swiftly and thoroughly to mitigate the effects of this spill.  I am closely monitoring the situation and my office has been in close contact with EPA to see that the appropriate steps are being taken to protect the health and safety of impacted communities.  It is essential that there is a full accounting of the causes of the accident.  We must know who bears responsibility for this spill and see that steps are taken to ensure accountability, especially for the costs of fixing this and making those impacted whole.”

There are several ways to get more information from EPA and state and local governments:

By phone: A call center has been set up for the public at 970-385-8700.
Online: Information is being posted to the La Plata County website at and the San Juan Basin Health Department’s Website at
Social media: Information is also being posted on the La Plata County Government Facebook and San Juan Basin Health Department Facebook pages.