New Mexico Declares State of Emergency After Toxic Spill

The neighboring state joins those concerned over the potential health effects of toxic sludge that was released into the Animas River in southern Colorado.
2:08 | 08/11/15

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Transcript for New Mexico Declares State of Emergency After Toxic Spill
Turning now to that toxic spill in Colorado, the tainted water spreading quickly, a state of emergency has been declared in neighboring New Mexico. River access expected to be closed until at least next week. Clayton Sandell with the story. Reporter: They are warning people here to stay out of this water, not to swim in it, not to drink it. It may not look polluted. Let me show you, it's this Orange sludge and the toxins in it that have people worried. This morning, thousands of people who rely on drinking water from two polluted western rivers now told it is toxic. Avoid showering. Don't let the livestock drink it. Reporter: After an EPA cleanup crew accidentally released more than 3 million gallons of toxic sludge last week from this mine. Governors of Colorado and new Mexico have declared states of emergency. Towns are shutting down pipes that normally take clean river water into people's homes. Where I live it's all basically living off the wells. Reporter: The plume turned the normally clear water to yellow. Traveling hundreds of miles from Colorado to New Mexico, to Utah now to Arizona. . The EPA is testing the water. Using fish to test the health impact on wildlife. Tests show the water carrying 300-times the safe levels of arsenic and 3,500-times levels the led. Shut down in the middle of peak summer season. 95% of my business has been swept away and we have about 23 employees who are currently out of work. Reporter: Everyone here is hoping the levels of toxins drop soon. Colorado's governor will be here today to see the.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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