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Conference regarding conditions of the Animas, San Juan watersheds set for May 17-18

FARMINGTON ? The environmental conditions of the Animas and San Juan watershed will be the focus of a two-day conference on Tuesday and Wednesday, May 17 and 18, at San Juan College in Farmington. Presentations will be from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.


A scene of fall color plants along a river
The environmental impact of the Gold King Mine spill on the Animas and San Juan River watershed will be the focus of a two-day conference May 17 and 18 at San Juan College in Farmington. To learn more about the conference and to register, visit animas.wrri.nmsu.edu. (NMSU photo)

The conference, which will have an emphasis on the Gold King Mine spill and other mine water issues, is hosted by the New Mexico Water Resources Research Institute, which is housed at New Mexico State University.

An estimated 100 participants will gather to bring a better understanding of impact of the Gold King Mine spill, which occurred during August 2015.

?This conference will facilitate the exchange of data and ideas among four states, three Environmental Protection Agency regions, two Native American tribes and numerous local and municipal agencies and public water systems,? said Sam Fernald, NMSU professor and director of the institute.

?The goal of the conference is to disseminate information and results from monitoring and research efforts in the Animas San Juan watershed,? Fernald said.

Relevant topics to be feature include
? Geology, mineralogy, 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 water sheds.
? 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 New Mexico Environment Department?s long-term monitoring plant titled ?Evaluating the Effects of the Gold King Mine Wastewater Spill in Northern New Mexico,? which was prepared by New Mexico?s Long Term Impact Review Team in October 2015.

Joining the New Mexico Water Resources Research Institute and NMSU as conference sponsors are New Mexico Environment Department, University of New Mexico, New Mexico Tech, New Mexico Bureau of Geology, City of Farmington, San Juan County, City of Aztec, San Juan Soil and Water Conservation District, and the San Juan Watershed Group.

For more information and to register, visit animas.wrri.nmsu.edu. Registration cost is $175, with discounts for students with identification, students with accepted abstracts, speakers only and exhibitors.