- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 18, 2015

DENVER — A second federal investigation into the EPA’s accidental toxic wastewater spill into the Animas River launched Tuesday, this one conducted by the Interior Department.

The department is expected to “provide the assessment report to the EPA and the public within 60 days,” according to an EPA press release.

“The goal of DOI’s independent review is to provide EPA with an analysis of the incident that took place at Gold King Mine, including the contributing causes,” said the Tuesday statement.

The EPA is an independent agency and does not fall under the purview of Interior or any other cabinet department.

The EPA’s Office of Inspector General announced Monday that it would investigate the spill that sent 3 million gallons of orange, acidic sludge from the Gold King Mine into Cement Creek and then the Animas and San Juan rivers, forcing communities to close the river and shut off their water intakes for drinking and farming.

An EPA-led team was working at the inactive mine near Silverton, Colorado, at the time of the Aug. 5 blowout. The contamination has since been detected at Lake Powell in Utah, albeit in very low concentrations.

Critics in Congress have called for the EPA to be held accountable for the accident.

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