The EPA is not off the hook for its role in the Gold King mine spill that contaminated hundreds of miles of the Animas and San Juan rivers in 2015.

A judge has denied the U.S. government’s request to dismiss the claims brought by the State of New
Mexico relating to damages caused by the Gold King Mine spill.

                View the 2015 Animas River Spill Interactive »

The decision allows New Mexico and the Navajo Nation to move forward with lawsuits filed in 2016.

“This is a big day for New Mexico,” said Environment Department Secretary James Kenney in a news release. “We are ready to continue our fight to hold the defendants responsible for the environmental and economic harm done to our communities.”

Among the damages sought by the state are more than $130 million for lost income, taxes, fees, and revenue sustained by the state and agricultural and recreational operations in northwestern New Mexico.

According to the news release, the state is also seeking to compel the EPA to clean up pollution to its rivers caused by the blowout.