On Wednesday, Mark Esper, editor and publisher of the Silverton Standard and Miner, confirmed that a letter to the editor addressing what the writer called a “Superfund blitzkrieg” was published a week prior to the massive Animas river spill. As a result, some began to wonder if the spill was deliberately caused by the EPA in order to gain control of the area and secure millions in Superfund dollars.
On July 30, Dave Taylor, identifying himself as a “professional geologist” with “47 years of experience,” said the EPA is setting the area up for a Superfund blitzkrieg. He then put forward a possible scenario of what could happen. One week later, the spill took place.
According to USA Today, the EPA admitted that it underestimated “how much pressure was hidden behind the debris” that plugged the entrance to the Gold King Mine. Now, some 3 million gallons of water contaminated with heavy metals are heading towards Utah and Lake Powell.
But was the spill deliberate? Writing at the Gateway Pundit, Jim Hoft said the EPA has wanted to apply its Superfund program to the mine for 25 years, citing a report at ABC News.
“If a leak occurred the EPA would then receive superfund status,” he wrote. “That is exactly what happened.” Moreover, Hoft noted, the EPA is “vehemently opposed to mining and development.”
The implication is clear. Either the spill was caused by gross negligence, incompetence, or it was deliberate.
New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez has declared a state of emergency in San Juan County and has directed officials to prepare for legal action against the federal agency. In a press release issued Monday, she expressed grave concern over the EPA’s actions.
“I had the chance to see the spill with my own eyes. It is absolutely devastating, and I am heartbroken by this environmental catastrophe,” she said.. “As I’ve said before, I am very concerned by EPA’s lack of communication and inability to provide accurate information. One day, the spill is 1 million gallons. The next, it’s 3 million. New Mexicans deserve answers we can rely on.”
Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye said he directed Attorney General Ethel Branch to assemble a legal team to file a lawsuit against the EPA. “They are impacting the livelihood of our people,” he said.
In his letter, Taylor said he believes the plan was to “build a treatment plant” that would cost taxpayers somewhere between $100 – $500 million. “After all,” he wrote, “with a budget of $8.2 billion and 17,000 employees, the EPA needs new, big projects to feed the best and justify their existence.”