Officials await test results from San Pedro River

Posted: Updated:
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) -- Initial tests of the San Pedro River do not indicate toxic waste has made its way from a copper mine spill in Mexico into Arizona.

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality sampled two areas on the river on Tuesday after Mexico officials warned that the potentially toxic waste made its way from Cananea, Sonora, to Arizona via a stream that leads to the San Pedro River after flooding south of the border.

The department tested pH and metal levels. Preliminary results of pH level testing show the river has not likely been contaminated, but investigators are still examining metals in the water and will continue to monitor the river.

A separate investigation by the International Boundary and Water Commission, a federal agency that oversees U.S. and Mexico water issues, has said investigators spotted discoloration in a stream that leads to the San Pedro River in Arizona but did not see any abnormalities in the river itself.

Still, officials are awaiting lab results from samples taken from the stream and the San Pedro River this week.

Authorities there reported that heavy flooding may have sent toxic waste from the mine in Cananea, Sonora, to the San Pedro River. Officials have not said how much waste leaked or what exactly was in the spill.

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