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Report says EPA knew mine spill was possible

Posted: 12:07 PM, Feb 11, 2016
Updated: 2016-02-11 12:07:52-05
Report says EPA knew mine spill was possible

DENVER (AP) — A U.S. House probe of a mine waste accident in Colorado that fouled rivers in three Western states has found further evidence that government workers knew a spill from the gold mine was possible.

A U.S. Environmental Protection agency official in charge of the site at the time of the August accident said in an email that he "personally knew" the plugged, inactive mine could contain large volumes of water.

The email from Hays Griswold was provided to The Associated Press by the House Natural Resources Committee.

An EPA cleanup crew triggered the spill during excavation work at the mine's entrance, unleashing a 3-million-gallon deluge that contaminated rivers in Colorado, New Mexico and Utah.

An Interior Department investigation pinned responsibility on the EPA for not checking to see if the mine held pressurized water.