Congress questions EPA of law violation on Animas River spill
We all remember the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, where 5 million gallons of oil were spewed and 11 workers were killed. Obama and former cabinet member Eric Holder couldn’t wait to file criminal and/or civil charges against BP before all the evidence was in.
Now we have another national disaster: this one on August 5 of this year, which was caused by one of Obama’s cabinet members: Gina McCarthy who heads EPA. She had a crew which accidentally breeched a wall in an abandoned mine in Colorado, spilling over 3 million gallons of contaminated water into the rivers shown below. The crew was supposed to be at the Gold King mine to clean it up, NOT release 80 miles of toxic sludge:
This water contained many toxic heavy metals. The river was so toxic to both humans and animals that people were advised to stay out of the water. Who would even think about going in when it looked like this?
Tourism was hit extremely hard and so was/is the Navajo Nation:
“They are not going to get away with this,” said Russell Begaye, president of the Navajo Nation, which intends to sue the EPA.
A top official in New Mexico accused EPA of refusing to share water data with them in an effort to downplay the disaster:
The move by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency aimed to downplay the severity of the spill, hobbling the state’s response, said Ryan Flynn, New Mexico secretary of Environment.
Now we have a Congressional oversight committee involved, Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT) who chairs the House Natural Resources Committee. He heard testimony yesterday (September 17) from Gina McCarthy, EPA Chief and also Mr. Begaye, who is president of the Navajo Nation. Sally Jewell, Interior Chief, declined to attend. Rep. Bishop accused Ms. McCarthy of “breaking the law” by not having the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which is under the Interior Depts, pervue, first do a study to make sure it was safe for the EPA to work in the area. Below is a salient exchange. Please note how Ms. McCarthy dodges the issue:
Rep. Bishop claims the EPA knew as far ahead as June of 2014 a blowout was possible and never had a study done.
EPA documents show the agency was aware as early as June 2014 that a massive blowout was possible. However, EPA decided not to test the hydrostatic pressure in the mine. Instead, it dug around with heavy machinery. If an individual or a private company had done this, EPA would have already made sure there was hell to pay.
Rep. Bishop goes on to say he is extremely disappointed Ms. Jewell decided NOT to attend. Why are we not surprised.
The cleanup will be a long, slow process costing the taxpayer millions.
On an added note, it was reported before the spill Colorado refused SuperFund money to help clean up the mine because it was fearful tourism would be affected. Well it sure is now.
Foresight is better than hindsight, especially when you have an incompetent agency like the EPA involved.
Crossposted at Conservative Outlooks