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Wastewater from Colorado mine reaches New Mexico

(Alexa Rogals/The Daily Times via AP)

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FARMINGTON, N.M. (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency says wastewater continues to drain from an abandoned mine in southwestern Colorado at a rate of about 550 gallons per minute.

Federal officials said Saturday that the rate was down from about 740 gallons per minute on Friday.

About 1 million gallons of wastewater from Colorado's Gold King Mine began spilling into the Animas River on Wednesday when an EPA-supervised cleanup crew accidentally breached a debris dam that had formed inside the mine.

The plume has reached the northern New Mexico cities of Aztec and Farmington.

Experts are still analyzing the environmental and health impacts of the release, which contains heavy metals including lead and arsenic.

Officials responding to the spill say they have finished building two containment ponds to treat the yellow sludge.

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