Skip to comments.Millions of gallons of toxic waste water spilled into river by… the EPA
Posted on 08/07/2015 12:23:33 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
How often do we see sad stories such as this in the news? Evil industrialists carelessly create a swath of damage across our pristine natural resources through pollution and reckless destruction. Another such event took place in Colorado this week when millions of gallons of toxic, metal laden waste water were dumped into a local stream, feeding into the local river system used by swimmers and fishermen. And the culprit for this horrendous act was… the Environmental Protection Agency.
A team of U.S. regulators probing contamination at a Colorado gold mine accidentally released a million gallons (3.8 million liters) of orange-hued waste water containing sediment and metals into a local river system, the Environmental Protection Agency said on Thursday.
The waste water that had been held behind a barrier near the abandoned Gold King Mine spilled on Wednesday into Cement Creek, which flows into the Animas River in San Juan County, EPA spokesman Rich Mylott said.
Several workers were in the EPA crew that was using heavy equipment to pump and treat the waste water when the breach occurred, Mylott said, adding that none were injured.
Locals had to immediately be warned to shut off any intakes from the river and to suspend any water based activities. The media was on hand almost at once, broadcasting pictures of, “kayakers floating down a mustard-yellow stretch of the Animas River.”
Here’s a question for the government to consider. How much of a fine do you think the EPA should impose on itself? A farmer in North Carolina was sentenced to six months of house arrest and fined $15K for discharging water with cow feces in it into a local river. But that was just a farm. This was a mine. Well, in the Appalachian region, a coal mining outfit was fined more than $27M for discharging into rivers. Pan Am Railways was tagged with $375,000 in fines by the EPA for discharging into a river. And then there’s the granddaddy of them all… British Petroleum got nailed with $18.7 Billion in fines last month for the Deepwater Horizon spill. Obviously there’s a lot of precedent here.
Now, the EPA can certainly come back and argue that this was an accident. They were there doing their jobs and the damage was unintentional. But I have some bad news for them. Do you honestly think that BP was trying to dump millions of gallons of highly valuable product into the Gulf of Mexico just because the rig manager really hates tuna? That was an accident too, and yet they have to pay. So why not the EPA?
We should get some sort of a White House petition started. These environmental scofflaws at the EPA have had a free run for too long and gotten off easy when they destroy our lands and waterways. It’s time for them to be fined, and I know just the group to hold them accountable. We’ll have to call the Environmental Protection Agency.
So, who exactly is going to get the polution fine?
I propose they write the penalty check to the EPA. It could be a perpetual motion money machine...the more they spill, the richer they get.
Time to reign in the EPA.
EPA above its own laws?
The EPA, now to be known as the EKA, the Environmental Kakistocracy Agency
I’ll lay 2-1 odds that the person responsible is quietly transferred, or tries to blame mine personnel, and suffers no repercussions.
I understand that this was an EPA mandated cleanup, but did they file the proper plans and receive the proper permits? Did they have an emergency plan to fall back on if this exact instance could have occurred?
The permits for the projects that I have worked on in the past and currently working on all require varying degree of protection of the environment and none of them is easy to obtain. I don’t care if it a parking lot for a mom and pop store or a bridge over a river. And you can better believe there was no lax oversight on any of those by the regulatory agency.
Has the EPA ever actually cleaned up so much as an ounce of water?
The actual release of the hazardous material was done by an EPA employee, not mine personnel.
How about the state of Colorado, who can then use the money to actually clean up the EPA’s mess?
“So, who exactly is going to get the polution fine?”
The gold mine owners, who else?
Sad to see...
I’ve been along that creek and river every few years since the early 1970s.
Looks like the EPA is responsible for more damage than the miners - most of that stuff would have been locked up in the mines underground where it originated. Yeah, there was stuff that was brought in for the processing during mining operations, but the bulk of the material was in the ground.
Not far from this area (Summitville), the EPA was spent around 500 million dollars cleaning up a mine that was claimed to be leaching acid - which was why there were no fish in the streams. After all that money was spent and 30+ years have gone into the cleanup, the EPA has had to admit that the acid in the creeks was runoff from the open rock faces of the mountain - NOT the mine. Clueless fools.
This will just be an opening for the EPA to sue the mine and land owners for allowing them, the EPA, this opportunity to create an environmental disaster [attractive nuisance]. Even though the mine was abandoned, the land is still owned by someone, so there is a chain of responsibility for the deep legal pockets of the US Government to go after.
Remember the lesson of Lois Learner, no one in government is ever responsible unless it is in the interest of the illiberal intelligensia (Scooter Libby). Remember the immortal words of the activist government, “Never let a good crisis go to waste!”
I understood that too. My point was they are not exempt form state and local permitting process
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