Thursday, August 20, 2015

The EPA Contaminates Colorado River: Updated and Bumped, again

It is now 3 million gallons. See below.

Updated again.

Article: Animas River fouled by 1 million gallons of contaminated mine water
A spill that sent 1 million gallons of wastewater from an abandoned mine into the Animas River, turning the river orange, set off warnings Thursday that contaminants threaten water quality for those downstream. 
The Environmental Protection Agency confirmed it triggered the spill while using heavy machinery to investigate pollutants at the Gold King Mine, north of Silverton. 
Downstream in Durango, hundreds of people gathered along the Animas River to watch as the blue waters turned a thick, radiant orange and yellow just after 8 p.m., nearly 34 hours after the spill started.
The orange color is apparently due to iron oxide.

Article: EPA confirms Colorado mine spill contains heavy metals
The mustard-colored muck that spilled from a Colorado mine and surged into a river contains heavy metals including lead and arsenic, federal environmental officials confirmed Friday, but they didn't immediately discuss amounts in the water or health risks. 
The spill also contained cadmium, aluminum, copper and calcium, the Environmental Protection Agency said. During a public meeting in Durango, EPA Regional Director Shaun McGrath did not mention whether the elements posed a health hazard but said local authorities were right to close the Animas River to human activities.
The Animas River is part of the Colorado River system and the spill "pulse" will contaminate drinking and irrigation water all the way to the Gulf of Mexico.

Fortunately for the EPA, the refusual to hold bureaucrats responsible for their failures, even catastrophic ones, usually means no one will be punished.
EPA and contractor crews accidentally unleashed 1 million gallons of wastewater from the shuttered Gold King Mine on Wednesday, and it flowed into the river through a tributary.
Well, maybe the contractor will be fired.

Update: EPA Says It Released 3 Million Gallons Of Contaminated Water Into River

NPR does a straight news article, blaming the EPA, and talking about the toxic waste.

Hoot: Abandoned Mine Leaks Millions Of Gallons Of Bright Orange, Toxic Water Into A Colorado River

On the other hand, left wing site,, produces an amazing piece of propaganda full of blame-shifting in the linked article. 

The waste "leaks," the EPA is trying to contain the waste (the opposite of what it did), "unexpectedly," the article blames the locals for not being to clean up the mess, the mine operators "just walked away," and so on.

Arrogant: EPA: No health risks to wildlife after Colorado mine spill, but impact to humans still unknown

And the tobacco companies claimed for years that cigarettes did not cause harm.

And still more: 'They're not going to get away with this': Anger mounts at EPA over mining spill

"They are not going to get away with this," said Russell Begaye, president of the Navajo Nation, which intends to sue the EPA. 
Begaye said Saturday at a community meeting in Shiprock, N.M., that he intends to take legal action against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for the massive release of mine waste into the Animas River near Silverton, Colorado. 
"The EPA was right in the middle of the disaster and we intend to make sure the Navajo Nation recovers every dollar it spends cleaning up this mess and every dollar it loses as a result of injuries to our precious Navajo natural resources," Begaye said. "I have instructed Navajo Nation Department of Justice to take immediate action against the EPA to the fullest extent of the law to protect Navajo families and resources."

The EPA waited 24 hours before warning towns downstreams that it had dumped the waste.

The EPA had not filed any sort of environmental impact statement, had not notified the state or local governments what they were up to, and never did any work to study the site and determine the best way to proceed. A private industry that did this would be under federal criminal investigation and there would be jail terms and fines.
The craven acquiescence of environmental organizations, which are completely in bed with the EPA, is disgusting. 

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