Like many New Mexicans, my family and I have been made heartsick by the horrendous spill of mine waste into the Animas River. Like many people, we feel deep connections to the places that have now been polluted.
These are places where we learned to swim and fish and enjoy nature. These are also the places that inspired my dedication to protect the environment, serving more than two decades with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and now teaching as a professor of environmental law at the University of New Mexico School of Law.
With this perspective, I have noted much confusion concerning the legal and practical implications of this terrible incident. To help shed some light on these issues and answer some questions I have seen raised, I would like to share the following comments.
• What are the real impacts of this spill to people or the environment?