A couple days ago, the EPA decided to stick its nose into something looking for someone to fine in the name of Gaia, and instead dumped a million gallons of toxic sludge and heavy metals down the Animas River in CO, UT, NM, and AZ.
A federal cleanup crew accidentally caused a big, and potentially hazardous, mess in Colorado, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
An estimated 1 million gallons of wastewater spilled out of an abandoned mine area in the southern part of the state on Wednesday, turning the Animas River orange and prompting the EPA to tell locals to avoid it.
Oh, wait, did the EPA say 1 million? They meant 3 million. Until the next revision as they “tell the truth slowly” and it becomes 10 million or 100 million.
The agency, meanwhile, remains under intense fire after its contractors accidentally breached a dam at the mine last week and sent toxic sludge flowing into the Animas River. The contaminated water has spread to New Mexico, Arizona and Utah, and EPA officials were forced to concede that more than 3 million gallons were released into the river — a much higher amount than the agency’s initial estimate of 1 million gallons.
A map of the San Juan river watershed gives some idea of how much this pollution the EPA caused is going to impact:
This is a huge area the EPA has managed to pollute.
The big question is, as WT hints at, is anyone going to be held accountable?
Although not comparable in magnitude, the spill in some ways is reminiscent of BP’s 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, which famously led President Obama to say he was looking for someone’s “ass to kick” in response and prompted Ken Salazar, the interior secretary at the time, to vow to keep his “boot on the neck” of BP.
This time, with a federal agency responsible for the spill, the talk hasn’t been so tough.
Critics say the administration is exercising a clear double standard by failing to demand the kind of accountability — including the firings of those responsible — that it has demanded of private companies.
They also say the EPA has seriously damaged its own credibility by failing to reveal the incident until a day later, and by initially downplaying the size of the spill.
If the EPA were to be treated like a private company, it would be getting fined, its officers would be getting fined, its people directly responsible for operations that caused the pollution would be going to prison, and the company would likely be destroyed.
Since it’s the EPA, expect nothing to happen. There’ll be some angry comments, but much like when the ATF sent guns to narcoterrorist cartels with Fast and Furious – the express opposite of what their job is, when the EPA poisons an entire river in the express opposite of what their job is – no one will be held accountable.
This is more indicative of living in an age where rule of law has fallen to the wayside. The government that’s supposed to be held to the highest standard instead decides if it feels like punishing itself for failures, and because it’s just more convenient not to, it won’t. And they know you either can’t or won’t do anything about it, so they have zero problem with shutting down all the coal plants in the US with rules they just made up based on fantasy while they actually poison rivers.
Hypocrisy is irrelevant because they determine what is wrong and right. The law applies to you, not to them. Enjoy your pollution courtesy of the Environmental Protection Agency – if it weren’t for them, you’d have cleaner rivers and air regionally managed by state environmental departments, cheaper electric bills and the economy and environment would be better.
As an aside, since the BP 2010 spill was mentioned, it’s important to note the only reason they were out drilling in deep water where a spill is so difficult to contaminate is because they were forced far offshore. If the rig had been in shallower water, it’d’ve been easier to drill, there’d be less likelihood of a spill to begin with, and if there were a spill, it’d be that much easier to fix at 200 feet down as opposed to 5100 feet down.