New Mexico files lawsuit against EPA and two firms over 2015 spill of mine waste


New Mexico has filed a lawsuit against the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as well as two mining firms over the 2015 Gold Mine spill in Colorado.

New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas filed the lawsuit on behalf of the state's environment department.

The gold mine spilled around three million gallons of toxic wastewater into New Mexico, Colorado and Utah.

"The release of hazardous substances into waters that are the lifeblood of our economy and culture in New Mexico has had a devastating impact on our historical rural, agricultural and tribal communities."

The 51-page lawsuit claimed that the EPA's response to the rupture was not sufficient.

The spill occurred accidentally when an EPA team inspected seepage, which led to the discharge of gallons of yellow sludge that contained high-levels of metals such as mercury and lead, reported Reuters.

Balderas said that the spill caused environmental damage.

"The release of hazardous substances into waters that are the lifeblood of our economy and culture in New Mexico has had a devastating impact on our historical rural, agricultural and tribal communities." Balderas said.

The lawsuit was filed against the EPA, its contractor Environmental Restoration, the Kinross Gold Corp and Sunnyside Gold Corp.

It has sought compensation for cleanup costs, as well as damages and had urged the court to require the firms and the agency to take adequate steps to prevent such spills in future, reported Dailycaller.com.