DENVER – Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson is expected to tour the Animas River on Tuesday in the aftermath of a mining wastewater spill caused by federal environmental regulators.
Pam Glasco, community relations coordinator with the The Durango Business Improvement District, said Carson will tour the Animas River and assess the Gold King Mine by helicopter in the morning.
He will then hold a public town hall at 2 p.m. at Rotary Park, where he will “address the EPA tragedy” and “highlight the failures of our federal government and how our families are affected,” according to an advisory for the event.
The Gold King Mine spill offers fodder for Republican candidates, who have already been at odds with the Environmental Protection Agency. An EPA-contracted team Aug. 5 caused an estimated 3 million gallons of old mining sludge to pour into the river, turning it a mustard-yellow color. Local, state and federal health officials say the river has now returned to “pre-event” conditions.
Carson, a neurosurgeon, is competing in a crowded GOP field for the 2016 presidential nomination, which has been dominated by attention focused on billionaire Donald Trump.
Recent polling shows Carson gaining after the first GOP debate held Aug. 6. The latest Fox News Poll shows Carson running second, with 12 percent supporting him. Trump was in first with 25 percent backing him in a 17-candidate field.