The Associated Press has found that an approximated 50 million gallons of polluted water flow from mine sites every day mush flowing directly into drinking and agricultural water sources. Currently the outflows effect at least water supplies in MT, CO, OK, CO and at a minimum 5 other states. Many of the polluting mines are abandoned and left un-monitored leading to the gross state of pollution. The Gold King Mine disaster of 2015 comes to mind as an example of what can truly go wrong, when an EPA clean-up crew accidentally released 3 million gallons of polluted water that turned many downstream rivers orange with sludge.
Mining outflows pose serious threats to countless fishing waters around the world and are a key worry in the fight to protect Bristol Bay from even the possibility of a mining disaster.