Skip to content

Valerie Richardson

Valerie Richardson

Valerie Richardson covers politics and the West from Denver. She can be reached at

Articles by Valerie Richardson

The Animas River flows with toxic waste from the Gold King Mine on Aug. 8, 2015, as seen from the 32nd Street Bridge in Durango, Colo., as the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad train goes by. (Associated Press) **FILE**

EPA contractor called to testify on Colorado river spill

The chairman of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee wants to hear from the EPA contractor on the Gold King Mine spill after learning that the agency knew about the risk of a blowout in advance. Published August 24, 2015

Water flows through a series of retention ponds built to contain and filter out heavy metals and chemicals from the Gold King Mine chemical accident, outside Silverton, Colorado. (Associated Press)

EPA knew of 'blowout' risk at Gold King Mine

Denver -- It turns out the Environmental Protection Agency knew about the risk of a blowout from the Gold King Mine more than a year before orange toxic sludge flooded the Animas River in southwest Colorado. Published August 23, 2015

Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson took the EPA to task for the toxic spill that affected rivers and drinking water across much of the Southwest. "Under my administration  I would  bring in people who understand the Constitution," he said. (Jerry McBride/The Durango Herald/Associated Press)

Carson says EPA will run better under his presidency

The EPA's massive toxic spill triggered fallout Tuesday from Republicans as presidential hopeful Ben Carson visited the site, and a key congressman disclosed that at least two House committees are planning to investigate the incident. Published August 18, 2015

FILE - In this Tuesday, June 30, 2015, file photo, U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., smiles before announcing her plans to seek a second term in Manchester, N.H. With negotiations on the state budget likely stalled until the fall, New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan's political future remains in a holding pattern. National Democrats hope to recruit her to run for U.S. Senate against Ayotte. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)

Embattled Planned Parenthood targets GOP senators with ads

Planned Parenthood moved to punish its enemies Tuesday with ads that say nothing about recent allegations of wrongdoing stemming from its fetal-tissue donations from abortions, but instead target vulnerable Republican senators. Published August 18, 2015