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FARMINGTON — Federal, state and local officials will gather Tuesday at McGee Park for a public event to answer more questions about a mining accident in Silverton, Colo., that released more than 3 million gallons of toxic waste into the Animas River.

"If people have not gone to any of the meetings and they still have questions, this is the most valuable meeting they can go to," said Bonnie Hopkins, New Mexico State University San Juan County Extension Office agriculture agent.

The meeting is scheduled for 3 to 8 p.m. in the fairgrounds' multi-use building.

Experts on soil, agriculture, water and other topics will be stationed at booths to answer questions one on one. Officials will be present who can help analyze water-quality test results and explain claims processes.

Hopkins said the event will be like an open house, in which people can walk from booth to booth with specific questions. It won't be like many of the other public meetings related to the spill, she said, some of which have lasted hours.

Officials from the Environmental Protection Agency, New Mexico Environment Department, county emergency management office, New Mexico Office of the State Engineer and New Mexico State University, among others, will be present.

For more information, call either San Juan County Emergency Management at 505-334-7700 or Hopkins' office at 505-334-9496.

Dan Schwartz covers government for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4606 and dschwartz@daily-times.com. Follow him @dtdschwartz on Twitter.

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