DENVER — State water-quality scientists are recommending that Colorado regulators reject a proposal to increase the levels of the metallic element molybdenum (mo-lyb-de-num) allowed in rivers and streams. However, the Environmental Protection Agency said in a filing that it would allow a limit higher than what Climax Molybdenum is seeking.

The Denver Post reported Wednesday that state scientists say the proposal would be “acutely lethal to aquatic life” and probably won’t protect people. They also said that current levels of molybdenum in drinking water, which has been allowed to exceed state limits, may already pose a risk to communities downstream of its mine above Leadville.

The EPA said in a statement that its filing is preliminary. A spokesman declined to elaborate.

State water quality commissioners are set to decide the issue in December.


Information from: The Denver Post, http://www.denverpost.com