Animas River After the EPA’s Toxic Spill
CBS radio announced Thursday morning that the Animas River and the San Juan River are back to normal levels. They were quoting Gina McCarthy, the EPA head.
They then went on to say the communities on the rivers did not join the EPA’s Superfund, giving the distinct and false impression that it would have somehow made a difference when it was the EPA cleanup crew that caused the problem in the first place.
The Superfund Act has not worked well and has enabled the EPA to take control of huge swaths of land and tie up businesses in endless regulations. As a result businesses won’t invest.
Superfund proved to be too overreaching and is wreaked havoc on U.S. businesses as “companies operating within the law were fined countless dollars and required to pay huge sums after the fact for clean-up of waste disposal that had been within the law at the time of the activity,” says Dr. Jay Lehr of The Heartland Institute who helped write the Superfund bill.
The reason locals didn’t join the Superfund was to maintain control over their own land and attempt to get mining industries back investing in their areas.
The media can’t understand why and have repeatedly said, “Can you imagine them wanting mining back?”
The fact is that the leaking mines have been closed for almost 100 hundred years and we no longer mine in a manner that is destructive to the environment.
TV news is now hinting the subcontractors did it which is also untrue. The EPA would never take the blame for subcontractors. They were in charge.
Gina McCarthy is trying to now convince people that the river is back to normal. Ignoring the fact that heavy toxic metals sink to the river bottom and become part of the sediment, she said Wednesday that water quality in La Plata County has “returned to pre-event conditions” after last week’s Gold King Mine wastewater spill.
McCarthy made no mention of the reported leaks from three surrounding mines and the continued leaking from the original source – the old, long-closed Gold King Mine.
Democratic Governor Hickenlooper greatly downplayed the event. He declared Wednesday that the water looked like it did prior to the spill and he was so enthusiastic about using the water freely that the EPA’s Shaun McGrath of the Orwellian-named Section 8 asked him to stop saying that until they had a chance to verify with test results.
A day before EPA administrator Gina McCarthy announced that toxicology tests show the water quality has returned to pre-contamination levels, Hickenlooper dipped his water bottle into the Animas and took several swigs in response to a request from the Durango Herald, which filmed the event.
“Am I willing to go out there and demonstrate that we’re back to normal?” Hickenlooper told the Herald beforehand. “Certainly. I’m happy to do that. I’m dead serious.”
His doctor told him to down some iodine afterwards just in case.
There is hardly anything Hickenlooper won’t do for the team except give us the actual information instead of the faux science surrounding only one dead fish.
The cleanup is ongoing because contaminated water continues to drain from the mine. The total cost to date is more than $100 million, according to the U.S. Geological Service. The Durango Herald reported Wednesday morning that three adjacent mines are leaking 540 gallons of contaminants a minute but there is no further word explaining their report.
Authorities said Wednesday that the waste from the Gold King spill will continue to be dangerous when contaminated sediment gets stirred up from the river bottom, yahoo news reported.
“There will be a source of these contaminants in the rivers for a long time,” said hydrologist Tom Myers, who runs a Nevada-based consulting business. “Every time there’s a high flow, it will stir it up and it will be moving those contaminants downstream.”
Colorado’s attorney general, Cynthia Coffman, acknowledged it could be years before the full impact is known.
“We have to be vigilant as attorneys general, as the lawyers for the state, as protectors of the environment, to be sure that the assurances that we received today from the Environmental Protection Agency are the same in two years, in five years, even 10 years when we discover what the damage to the environment actually is,” Coffman said Wednesday after she and her counterparts gathered in Durango.
The EPA has been less than forthcoming and won’t release the results of their tests. Some professionals who have independently tested the water found lead at 12,000 times appropriate levels. CNN reported samples of beryllium and cadmium were 33 times higher, and one of the arsenic levels was more than 800 times higher.
The Colorado and New Mexico congressional delegations sent a letter to President Obama to request federal resources to help respond to the Gold King Mine spill and they referred to the lack of transparency.
“This is truly a national disaster that requires the attention, coordinated efforts, and resources of multiple federal agencies,” the letter states.
“The communities we represent expect and deserve a prompt and thorough response to this disaster as well as transparency and accountability from the federal government,” it read.
“There also must be an improvement in the speed of water quality and sediment testing and in the dissemination of fully-interpreted results to the public. The EPA is conducting water and sediment sampling and analyses, but the interpreted results have not been made readily available to the public.”
The letter was signed by Colorado Sens. Michael Bennet (D) and Cory Gardner (R) as well as Rep. Scott Tipton (R), along with New Mexico Democrats Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and Rep. Ben Ray Luján.
“We’re busting our tails to get that out,” said Shaun McGrath, administrator for the EPA’s Region 8. “We know the importance to people to have this information.
“This is a long-term impact. The sediment, the metals that are in that sediment are going to settle out to the stream bottom,” he said. “As we have storm surges, as we have flooding events, that sediment can and likely will get kicked back up into the water. We’re going to have to do ongoing monitoring.”
MSNBC has also shifted the blame to locals without any basis in fact whatsoever. MSNBC distorted the story to the point of saying the EPA had good intentions.
The MSNBC talking head had the gall to say that the sludge was leaking for a long time and the EPA wanted to make it a Superfund site to clean it up. He was hinting that if locals had only allowed the Super cleanup this wouldn’t have happened.
First of all, what difference would that have made? They can’t even do the smaller cleanups obviously. Secondly, making it a SuperFund site means the EPA owns them.
Listen to this deceitful, incompetent reporting:
The Chicago Tribune continued the effort begun by MSNBC to switch the blame to locals who didn’t become part of the failed EPA Superfund program. ABC News is telling the same story.
The Tribune claimed locals feared the ‘stigma of a Superfund label’. They managed to find some big government locals who agreed but failed to name them.
The toxic spill had nothing to do with becoming part of the Superfund. It was carelessness and incompetence that caused the spill. The spill is a reason to not get involved with the Superfund which is a big government monstrosity of regulations.
These false reports are meant to sway opinion and they don’t even need any facts to do it.
Gina McCarthy said the EPA will be “fully responsible” for all damages due to the toxic spill. Aside from the fact that it means the taxpayer is responsible for their mess, it doesn’t seem to apply to the Navajos.
The Navajo Nation’s president and vice president are instructing its divisions dealing with the Gold King Mine spill and all people affected by it not to sign an Environmental Protection Agency form for compensation for land damage and personal injury from the spill.
The EPA opened up claim submissions via Standard Form 95 and on the bottom of the first page of the form, it says: “I certify that the amount of claim covers only damages and injuries caused by the incident above and agree to accept said amount in full satisfaction and final settlement of this claim.”
The damage from this spill will take years to unfold no matter how much the EPA and the media spin it.