US declines prosecution of government worker in mine spill

DENVER (AP) - Federal investigators say the U.S. Attorney's Office in Colorado has declined to prosecute an employee of the Environmental Protection Agency over a massive mine wastewater spill.

The EPA's Office of Inspector General said Wednesday that it found evidence the unnamed employee may have violated the Clean Water Act and given false statements.

However, office spokesman Jeffrey Lagda says federal prosecutors have declined to pursue the case. He says that in lieu of prosecution, the case will be sent to senior EPA management for their review.

An EPA-led cleanup team inadvertently triggered the Aug. 5, 2015, spill while doing work at the Gold King mine. The 3-million-gallon blowout tainted rivers in Colorado, New Mexico and Utah with toxic heavy metals.

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