Toxic Sludge Released in River in Southern Colorado

Gov. John Hickenlooper declares state of emergency after three million gallons of yellow sludge released in the Animas River.
1:49 | 08/10/15

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Transcript for Toxic Sludge Released in River in Southern Colorado
Now to the environmental disaster in Colorado. The governor declaring a state of emergency there. After 3 million gallons of toxic water was accidentally released into the river. The yellow sludge making its way to New Mexico and threatening lake Powell on the utah/new Mexico border. Reporter: This morning, parts of Colorado under a state of emergency. After EPA workers released 3 million gallons of toxic water into the river. More than a 100-mile stretch of pristine river transformed by in yellow sludge after an EPA cleanup crew released tainted water stored inside an abandoned mine. It's scary. It's dangerous. Reporter: Officials have closed the river. Warning people to stay away from the water. At its peak, it had 300 times the Normal level of arsenic and 3500 times the Normal level of lead. This morning, the waist pouring into the river at 550 gallons per minute. Headed for the grand canyon and lake Powell. Vacationers warned not to eat, drink, or swim in the water. The plume reaching New Mexico. The magty tues Ty -- magnitude is -- you can't describe it. It was like when I flew over the fires. And, you see something that -- your mind is not ready or adjusted to see. Reporter: The EPA says the plume should dissipate as it moves squoun treatment. The potential long-term impacts are still a mystery. For "Good morning America," Clayton Sandell, ABC news, Denver.

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

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