The very agency charged with protecting the environment has caused a toxic waste spill from an environmental disposal mine filled with a megaload of heavy metals including high levels of arsenic, lead and cadmium.

Residents in two New Mexico towns have been forced onto emergency water rations after the federal government caused the disastrous spill of environmentally-sequestered carcinogenic heavy metals.

Thanks to the EPA, these towns have been cut off from their source of water overnight — due to incompetence by the federal government no less. Their populations have been warned that they must rely upon a 90-day estimated supply of water until the EPA can thoroughly test the water, and clear it for safe usage.

The incident took place in southwest Colorado, spilling into the Animas River near the town of Silverton. The contaminated waters have overwhelmed at least two towns downstream in New Mexico, while the EPA admits the severe levels of toxins are also headed for parts of Utah, after the Animas joins a larger river.

RT reports:

Toxic waste, including arsenic and lead, which seeped into a river in southwest Colorado, has now crossed the state border into New Mexico. More than 550 gallons per minute are entering the water flow system according to the Environmental Protection Agency, which caused the spill.

The agency says it should have the results of samples undergoing lab testing soon, so they can find out just how contaminated the river has become. Aside from lead and arsenic, federal officials say the spill also contains, cadmium, aluminum, copper and calcium.

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Officials in the cities of Aztec and Farmington say they have shut down the river’s access to water treatment plants, adding that the communities had a 90-day supply of water.

The Animas flows into the San Juan River in New Mexico, and the San Juan flows into Utah, where it joins the Colorado River in Lake Powell. There are also reports that the contaminated water is heading towards Utah.

Heavy metal contamination has been one of the most detrimental environmental killers across the world. Numerous sites of corporate malfeasance and corruption have resulted in concentrated cases of villages and areas afflicted by contaminated water that have triggered cancer clusters and chronic disorders among populations.

The river turned orange in color at its Colorado point, striking an alarming contrast to the typical river, as pictures and footage show:

Meanwhile, it is a crisis in one area that could affect many other areas in the drought-stricken and sometimes desperate southwest.

California has been in a severe drought crisis, with farmers calling it quits to sell high priced water to cities. Other cities across the globe, like Bangkok and Sao Paulo face severe water shortages and desperately dependent, large urban populations.

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