• CO Gov. Drinks Water From Contaminated River To Show It’s Totally Fine

    Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is confident it’s safe to drink water from the Animas River, which was recently filled with 3 million gallons of mine waste from an EPA spill last week. Hickenlooper’s so confident the water is safe, he drank it!

    “If that shows that Durango is open for business, I’m happy to help,” Hickenlooper said in a video taken by the Durango Herald on Tuesday depicting the Democratic governor drinking a bottle full of river water.

    “Am I willing to go out there and demonstrate that we’re back to normal?” Hickenlooper said. “Certainly. I’m happy to do that. I’m dead serious.”

    After being flooded with high levels of toxic mine wastewater last week, the EPA announced Thursday morning that water quality tests showed a return to “pre-event water quality levels” for the Animas River near a municipal water intake in the Silverton, Colo., area.

    Hickenlooper, however, warned residents not to freely drink the water from the Animas River because it was declared unsafe for consumption even before EPA-supervised contractors spilled millions of gallons of wastewater from the Gold King Mine. The governor’s drinking of the water was a show of confidence that the river was safe enough to be reopened.

    But that’s for Colorado, tests done near Farmington, New Mexico show slightly elevated levels of lead and other toxic materials that violate state water quality standards. Besides lead and secondary metals, however, levels of all other substances tested within state standards, reports The Daily-Times.

    New Mexico officials have warned locals not to drink, bathe or irrigate river water until tests show the toxic plume has passed. Much of the waste has settled on the bottom of rivers and could eventually be stirred up again in the future.

    “All of the metals that were in the river are now in the sediment,” Bonnie Hopkins with the New Mexico State University San Juan County Extension Office, told The Daily-Times.

    Hickenlooper’s drinking of Animas River water mirrors a time in 2011 when the governor drank fluid used for hydraulic fracturing with the CEO of Halliburton.

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