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Gov. John Hickenlooper on Tuesday drank a hearty gulp of the Animas River in an effort to highlight that the river has returned to pre-contamination conditions. The governor and his health department director, however, cautioned that residents should not be freely drinking from the river, because the water was unsafe for consumption even before the Environmental Protection Agency released an estimated 3 million gallons of mining wastewater into it.

But the drinking exercise indicated that state officials are more than confident that the river does not pose a toxic risk to humans, as they publicly stated on Tuesday.index

“Am I willing to go out there and demonstrate that we’re back to normal?” Hickenlooper asked out loud after The Durango Herald raised the idea with the governor. “Certainly. I’m happy to do that. I’m dead serious.”

Moments later Hickenlooper was presented with an iodine tablet, offered to him at the request of Dr. Larry Wolk, director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, who was traveling with the governor in Durango. The iodine tablet was used to kill possible presence of giardia and E. coli. After waiting for 30 minutes for the iodine tablet take effect, the governor walked from the Herald offices to Iris Park, the governor – in dress boots – to the banks of the Animas.

With bottle in hand, Hickenlooper slowly began to drink. After his sips, he raised the bottle in victory. Twenty-four hours later, the governor called the Herald to say he was in good health.

“If that shows that Durango is open for business, I’m happy to help,” Hickenlooper said.

I’ll have mine…with a twist.



  1. bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist and free speech advocate says:

    “residents should not be freely drinking from the river, because the water was unsafe for consumption even before ….” //// River does “look” nice though………and I bet he purged as soon as he got off camera.

    MINING disrupts Good Mother Earth and is not safe for hoomans for a variety of reasons…whether its for Uranium, Gold, Copper, Lithium, Oil……………………..or coal.

    I accept the demonstration that a glass of water from the river will not kill you……………but thats not actually the issue. Close……..but no banana.

    Silly Hoomans…………its why politicians show themselves in public.

    • Hmeyers says:

      Up Next: Gov. John Hickenlooper proves toilet water is cleanest water in the house.

    • Hmeyers says:

      Maybe he will drink some fracking fluid next.

      Oh yeah — he’s already done that — “he told a U.S. Senate committee that he once drank fracking fluid to show it is safe”

      • Dwight E. Howell says:

        If I recall correctly fracking fluid is rather like dish water with sand added.

        • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist and free speech advocate says:

          My dish washing fluid: water plus biodegradable soap.

          Fracking Fliud: water plus unknown combo of 100’s of different toxic chemicals.

          Yes……..very much like each other…. like you and Einstein.

  2. bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist and free speech advocate says:

    HA—morning news shows the Gubner drinking from the river. Unlike your posted pic, the news showed the water in the bottle to be tinted orange.

    Its been decades now that “as a camper” I have declined drinking fresh water from any river. ……what is upstream in cattle country?

    • McCullough says:

      Cant be true, they said the 3 million gallons of sludge is gone, in 7 days. Its a miracle!

      • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist and free speech advocate says:

        Water into wine?

        Maybe at that altitude with some pure gravel, or even gold, the water looks and tastes like Chardonnay?

  3. MikeN says:

    “I’m dead serious.”
    “Moments later”

  4. Up High - Down Low says:

    The man will drink ANYTHING! After all, he got his start in the alcohol, beer & wine business (not too far from the Coors plant that pumps out pretty much the same swill). And after his big suck on the big old Obama pole in ’08, I’m pretty sure he’d swallow almost anything too!

    But ‘Ol Hick is the least of Colorado’s worries. “Hickey Baby,” or Howdie Doodie’s brother, is just a figure head for the real leadership in Colorado which is currently 80-percent left sided FASCIST! It could also be why no one thought it was necessary to inform the public that they were once again getting screwed — that is, until it was too late.

  5. McCullough says:

    If he drinks Coors, then yeah, this water would be an improvement.

  6. Dwight E. Howell says:

    Drinking a glass of water shouldn’t cause any problems. Drinking the water everyday should have major health consequences for just about anything as the toxic metals continue to build up in the drinkers body. Some water filter systems might be able to clean them out.

    This was a silly stunt. Not sure when the water will be safe to drink without filtering to remove the metals.

  7. MikeN says:

    A geologist predicted this would happen in the local paper.

  8. Hmeyers says:

    They should make a reality show from this governor:

    1) He drinks fracking fluid
    2) Drinks orange mining waste war

    The narrator says

    “NEXT: John Hickenlooper faces his greater challenge!

    Can he drink a jar of cow urine? Find out after this commericial break!”

  9. SonicDeathMonkey says:

    Giardia? Maybe the spill killed all the pathogens.


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