How Bad Is the Damage to the Animas River?

Read the full story in The Atlantic.

It looked Photoshopped, but it was definitely real: a river in Colorado flowed orange.

Last week, a cleanup crew from the Environmental Protection Agency working along the Animas River in southwestern Colorado accidentally broke through a dam, causing a nearby abandoned mine to spew 3 million gallons of wastewater into the river. The spill sent lead, arsenic, cadmium and other contaminants into the 126-mile-long river, turning the water a mustard hue.

The river’s appearance has since recovered; it shifted to a slight green color as water flowed away from the spill site, diluting the concentration of pollutants, CNN reported. By Tuesday, the water looked clear.

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