Reaction was not kind to EPA’s toxic wastewater release from Colorado’s spent Gold King mine. A million gallons were reported as the toxic release, but Durango residents estimate it’s many more million gallons of toxic wastewater that spilled into Colorado’s Animas River.
A National Review commenter explained that the EPA was under pressure to remediate Gold King mine before the upcoming 100th anniversary of its closing. Locals are wondering whether being in a hurry excused EPA from responsibility.
They wonder why, also, that the EPA spill missed the MSM’s attention. While the catastrophe was minimally mentioned by Bloomberg, CNN, and even the New York Times, coverage sourced largely from The Durango Herald, the town’s liberal newspaper, with plenty of words that reported few known facts.
The EPA articulated a few ‘I’m sorrys’ but was not even sure of the contaminants in the wastewater. The wastewater could contain fines or soluble salts, an important physical distinction that determines their toxicity downstream. The EPA said nothing about what they were doing at the site, who the contractor was, and little about much of anything.
Some of the locals, besides hoping that Colorado Congressman Tipton will pick up on this, wrote to their representative demanding a committee investigation. In his statement, Republican Congressman Tipton expressed the same frustration over EPA’s lack of information, concern about effects on the environment and wildlife, and seeks an assessment of the damages, and a full accounting. How about expressing the need for a full investigation? No one locally wants the EPA to get away with polluting their river, not to mention the water supply.
Intake valves sourcing Animas water to the city’s water supply were closed when the spill was disclosed. Still, some city markets sold out their supplies of bottled water. It’s one thing to worry about the Animas and surrounding Colorado area. Southern Californians and Las Vegans ought to worry about their water supply too.
The toxic wastewater, upon passing through the Animas in Colorado, flows to Lake Powell located mostly in Utah. From there, Glen Canyon Dam provides opportunity to contain the pollutants. Further downstream and through the Grand Canyon, the Hoover Dam is another way to contain the wastewaters. If both dams allow waters through their spillways, wastewaters pass to California’s Imperial Valley irrigation with some water making its way to Southern California sites such as San Diego. Preventing such a national catastrophe from expanding to the entire Southwest requires EPA to report all it was doing at Gold King mine and identify the released pollutants.
Leslie Eastman writes in Legal Insurrection that the current EPA has been more toxic to the environment than fracking operations, the target of environmental activists who claim it is a source of water pollution.
In typical arrogant government reaction, EPA says and does nothing, keeping mum on its activities at best, fabricating excuses, or lying at last. It is the way of a growing list of guilty governmental agencies getting a pass on incompetence, negligence, cover-up or all three. Add EPA to the list, or is it time to get rid of the EPA altogether?