A startling admission relating to the events surrounding the Animas River spill. CBS News reveals that Gold King Mine owner Todd Hennis states the Environmental Pollution Agency (EPA) forced him to give the agency access to his mine or he or his company would be fined $35,000 a day until he did. Since he faced such huge penalties, he relented and gave the agency permission.
Todd Hennis said that the EPA did not complete its investigation of his mine’s sediment leak last year so they capped it. But upon returning this month, they re-opened it and the millions of gallons of polluted water poured out of the mine. He said that the water released from his mine ended up in his from another known as the Sunnyside. Dennis came forward saying that this entire accident could have been avoided, but he is glad the EPA has taken accountability for their mistake.
Just the fact that the EPA not only threatened fines to get Todd Hennis to give the agency access to his mine but also screwed up as badly as they did goes to show their incompetence. In fairness there is no indication that the agency had tried to ask Todd Hennis for access to Gold King Mine prior to their action. So it is possible Hennis and the EPA may have had a dispute. I still think there is some validity to retired Geologist Dave Taylor’s accusation that the EPA was setting the stage in order to force the issue so area residents would consent to making the region into a Superfund site or initiate some sort of massive taxpayer funded clean up.
What is even more concerning is the reaction by environmentalists toward this whole affair. Breitbart News asked the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the Sierra Club and Earth Justice why they weren’t outraged to the point where they are calling for EPA officials to be disciplined in the same way they were incensed over spill by companies like the British Petroleum spill in Louisiana.
While Earthjustice did not respond, to their credit, the Sierra Club replied with a press release putting the blame on the mining company and the EPA for the whole debacle and hoped the agency would resolve the matter quickly so as to prevent a similar incident. The NRDC’s President Rhea Suh released a statement saying that while the agency inadvertently triggered the mine waste spill last week, she blamed the disaster mining companies and Republicans in the House of Representatives.