NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – The state has finalized a $32 million settlement with the federal government over the Gold King Mine spill. EPA contractors were trying to clean up the Colorado mine in August of 2015 when they released millions of gallons of acidic drainage and toxic metals into the Animas and San Juan rivers.

The spill turned the rivers burnt orange and affected drinking water and crop irrigation. “..And this was a learning lesson where we all, unfortunately, began in discussion when the crisis occurred and we fought,” said New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas. “I would rather not take these issues to court. I would rather leaders work out and come to an agreement in the future.”

Last year, the state reached an $11 million settlement with mining company Sunnyside Gold for its role in the spill.