The EPA knew for over a year that the Gold King Mine could blow out and release toxic heavy metals into the Animas river. What did they do? Nothing, that’s what. And we got this:
Just imagine if a private business had know what would happen 14 months in advance of this mess. People would be in jail right now.
EPA released the documents following weeks of prodding from news organizations like The Associated Press. EPA and contract workers [directed and supervised by the EPA] accidentally unleashed 3 million gallons of contaminated wastewater on Aug. 5 as they inspected the idled Gold King Mine near Silverton, Colorado.
Among the documents is a June 2014 work order for a planned cleanup that noted that the old mine had not been accessible since 1995, when the entrance partially collapsed. The plan appears to have been produced by Environmental Restoration, a private contractor working for EPA.
“This condition has likely caused impounding of water behind the collapse,” the report says. “ln addition, other collapses within the workings may have occurred creating additional water impounding conditions. Conditions may exist that could result in a blowout of the blockages and cause a release of large volumes of contaminated mine waters and sediment from inside the mine, which contain concentrated heavy metals .”
In other words, the EPA – the same people who are shutting down the coal industry and raising your electricity rates – knew about the situation for over a year and did nothing to investigate and had no plan to act if the prediction happened.
Hell of a job. It’s our federal government at work. In the spirit of Barack Obama’s “Most Transparent Administration Ever” the EPA is redacting much of the information on the released documents. They say the release must be vetted by the legal department.
Finally, in a statement that could have been read straight from the pages of George Orwell’s 1984 we have this.
EPA spokeswoman Melissa Harrison said …”I do not want people to think we put something out late at night to hide something.”
1984 was not supposed be a manual.