EPA won’t face fines for causing the Gold King mine wastewater disaster. The government agency gets a pass for possibly polluting the entire waters of the Southwest.
EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, who plans to personally tour the damage initiated at Colorado’s Gold King mine north of Silverton, admitted full responsibility for the spill. “It pains me to no end,” she lamented as reported in Seattle Times. Surely it does, since the White House is taking no calls on the disaster, forwarding inquiries directly to the EPA, which is busy banning non-polluting CO2 instead of cleaning up real pollutants it released in the Animas.
Washington Times opines that the spill is a reminder of BP’s 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, after which President Obama said he was looking for someone’s “ass to kick.” With his own environmentally conscious EPA responsible for the mine wastewater spill, The Times noted that “talk [of the EPA-caused Gold King spill] hasn’t been so tough.”
None of this passing of the political buck has diluted the ire or quelled the concerns of Southwesterners depending on the Animas, San Juan, and Colorado River waters for their survival. Municipalities such as Farmington, New Mexico, draw their drinking water from the Animas.
Making matters worse, the Bureau of Reclamation has no plans to slow flows on the lower Colorado River, below Lake Powell, where the water is a vital resource for parts of California, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah.
The EPA told Navajo Chief Begaye that the clean-up could take decades. Begaye said “Decades. That is totally, completely unsettling,” Begaye said. “This is a huge issue. This river, the San Juan, is our lifeline, not only in a spiritual sense but also it’s an economic base that sustains the people that live along the river. You’re taking away the livelihood and maybe taking it away from them for decades. That is just, to me, a disaster of a huge proportion. And we have yet to hear from the Obama administration.”
Nobody told Begaye that he won’t be hearing from the Obama administration. The narcissistic Commander-in-Chief doesn’t speak to Indian chiefs.
While Utah contemplates no legal action, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, however, indicated she would not take anything off the table and that the EPA should be held to the same standards as industry. That industry is oil, wherein oil companies are sued, fined, and penalized plenty for spilling more than a tablespoon of crude.