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The Gold King mine waste spill into the Animas River in Colorado has focused national media and political attention on the broader problem of approximately 500,000 abandoned and inactive mines that threaten catastrophe.  

What happened?

A gold mine, inactive since 1923, had been leaking 200-300 gallons/minute of sulfuric acid laden water into Colorado’s Animas River. A contractor working for EPA looking for rock strong enough to support remediation activities accidently loosened the bedrock allowing 3 million gallons of mining wastewater to spill into the river.

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