ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS
OF THE ANIMAS AND SAN JUAN WATERSHEDS
WITH EMPHASIS ON GOLD KING MINE
AND OTHER MINE WASTE ISSUES


May 17-18, 2016
San Juan College, Henderson Fine Arts Center, Farmington, NM

Online registration is closed. Walk-in registration starts 8:00 a.m., Tuesday May 17.

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Join Us!

The New Mexico Water Resources Research Institute (NM WRRI) will host a two-day conference in May 2016 to facilitate the exchange of data and ideas among four states, three Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regions, two Tribes, and numerous local and municipal agencies and public water systems. The conference will bring together an estimated 100 participants to gain a better understanding of the theme of the conference, Environmental Conditions of the Animas and San Juan Watersheds with Emphasis on Gold King Mine and other Mine Waste Issues. The NM WRRI will coordinate all aspects of the conference with the guidance of a planning committee comprised of representatives from some of the sponsoring entities. These sponsors include: NM WRRI, New Mexico Environment Department (NMED), New Mexico State University (NMSU), University of New Mexico (UNM), New Mexico Tech (NM Tech), New Mexico Bureau of Geology & Mineral Resources (NMBGMR), City of Farmington, San Juan County, City of Aztec, San Juan Soil & Water Conservation District, and the San Juan Watershed Group.

The goal of the conference is to disseminate information and results from monitoring and research efforts in the Animas and San Juan watersheds. Particularly relevant topics to be featured at the conference include:

  • Geology, minerology, ore bodies and natural sources of contamination
  • Analysis of Animas and San Juan watersheds as a result of Gold King Mine spill
  • Effects of acid mine drainage after more than a century of mining
  • Effects of historical spill events
  • Effects of the Gold King Mine spill
  • Differentiating geologic and historical contaminants from Gold King Mine spill contaminants
  • Transport and fate of mining contaminants in the Animas and San Juan watersheds
  • Contaminant uptake into the food web
  • Mining contaminant impacts on surface water, sediment, groundwater, agriculture, livestock, wildlife, and humans
  • Long-term monitoring
  • Existing corrective measures to control mine seepage and hydraulic consequences
  • Options for additional source control, spill prevention, and remediation
  • E. coli and other organisms in nutrients

The conference will support the activities outlined in the Long-Term Monitoring Plan: Evaluating the Effects of the Gold King Mine Wastewater Spill in Northern New Mexico, prepared by the State of New Mexico’s Long-Term Impact Review Team (draft report, October 20, 2015). The conference will bring together academics, agencies, representatives, and community members and provide a forum for addressing concerns and questions over the Gold King Mine spill and the continuing monitoring efforts.

 

Conference Planning Committee
Diane Agnew, NM Environment Department
Laura Crossey, University of New Mexico
Sam Fernald, NM Water Resources Research Inst.
Jesus Gomez-Velez, NM Tech
Trais Kliphuis, NM Environment Department
Kevin Lombard, New Mexico State University, Farmington
Melissa May, San Juan Soil & Water Conservation Dist.
Virginia McLemore, New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources
Dennis McQuillan, NM Environment Department
Paul Montoia, City of Farmington
Catherine Ortega Klett, NM WRRI
Jesslyn Ratliff, NM WRRI
Blane Sanchez, NM WRRI
Fernando Herrera, NM WRRI
Jamie Shockey, San Juan Generating Station, PNM
Andy Shuler, University of New Mexico
Stacy Timmons, NM Bureau of Geology
Butch Tongate, NM Environment Department
Thomas Turner, University of New Mexico

 

Wednesday Afternoon Session, May 18, 2016, OPEN to the public at no charge.

Please join us from 1:30 - 5:00 on Wednesday, May 18, 2016 for what promises to be a very informative panel session. The panelists will each give presentations, followed by a panel discussion, starting at 3:35, on Where Do We Go From Here?  Dr. Virginia McLemore from the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources will moderate the discussion that will include topics such as:
  • What were the pre-mining conditions? Can we achieve pre-mining conditions? How do pre-mining conditions compare to background conditions and to present conditions?
  • What actually happened during the August 2015 spill? How do we prevent future spills?
  • What was the original emergency response action plan and was it implemented?
  • What were the emergency management aspects of the spill and what notification was sent to downstream users?
  • What should be included in a long-term monitoring plan? What contaminants should we test for? What media should be tested (e.g., water, crops, fish, plants, etc.)? What are the pathways for exposure to contamination? How do we define what is safe and what is not safe?
Panelists include:
Dennis McQuillan, NM Environment Department
Kim Carpenter, San Juan County
Rich Dembowski, Gold King Mine Citizens’ Advisory Committee
Karletta Chief, University of Arizona

 

Sponsored by

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For more information on program click here