Via HotAir, discussing the subject of fines:
They came up in conversation when the mine owner tried to keep them from messing around with site. Todd Hennis had some experience with the EPA in the past and they had caused some similar leaks at another property of his. This time he told them he didn’t want them in there messing around, but they made their position clear. (Washington Examiner)
Mr. Hennis said he opposed having the EPA investigate leakage from the inactive mine near Silverton, Colorado, because he had tangled with the agency in previous years over its work at another mine he owns in Leadville, Colorado.
“I said, ‘No, I don’t want you on my land out of fear that you will create additional pollution like you did in Leadville,’” Mr. Hennis told Colorado Watchdog.org. “They said, ‘If you don’t give us access within four days, we will fine you $35,000 a day.’”
The EPA has admitted that its agents accidentally unleashed the acidic flood, which has since contaminated the San Juan River in New Mexico and seeped into Lake Powell in Utah, albeit in very low concentrations.
Yup. The owner of the mine said “no, you wrecked my land before, you’ll do it again”… and the EPA threatened fines, and then they wrecked his land. Again. And your land. And my land.
Hennis warned them. He told them. And the EPA threatened him, and so the EPA did it anyway.
The 3-million-gallon heavy-metal spill two weeks ago in Silverton polluted three states and touched off national outrage. But the EPA escaped public wrath in 2005 when it secretly dumped up to 15,000 tons of poisonous waste into another mine 124 miles away. That dump – containing arsenic, lead and other materials – materialized in runoff in the town of Leadville, said Todd Hennis, who owns both mines along with numerous others.
“If a private company had done this, they would’ve been fined out of existence,” Hennis said. “I have been battling the EPA for 10 years and they have done nothing but create pollution. About 20 percent (of Silverton residents) think it’s on purpose so they can declare the whole area a Superfund site.” …
It’s against this backdrop that the Environmental Protection Agency began lobbying to declare part of Leadville a Superfund site in order to develop a recreational area called the Mineral Belt Trail. The project was officially completed in 2000, but apparently the agency stayed on and continued to work in town.
In late 2005, the EPA collected tons of sludge from two Leadville mines and secretly dumped it down the shaft of the New Mikado mine without notifying Hennis, its owner, according to documents reviewed by Watchdog. …
A drainage tunnel had been installed at the bottom of the mine shaft by the U.S. government in 1942, meaning that any snow or rain would leach toxins into the surrounding land.
Hennis said the EPA claims it has installed a treatment pond near the tunnel to clean runoff. The EPA rebuffed his demands to clean up the mess it created in his mine, he said. In frustration, Hennis sent the county sheriff a certified notice that any EPA officials found near his property were trespassing and should be arrested.
Despite that history of bitterness, in 2010, the EPA asked Hennis to grant its agents access to Gold King Mine in Silverton because the agency was investigating hazardous runoff from other mines in the region.
“I said, ‘No, I don’t want you on my land out of fear that you will create additional pollution like you did in Leadville,’” Hennis said. The official request turned into a threat, Hennis said: “They said, ‘If you don’t give us access within four days, we will fine you $35,000 a day.’”
An EPA administrative order dated May 12, 2011 said its inspectors wanted to conduct “drilling of holes and installing monitoring wells, sampling and monitoring water, soil, and mine waste material from mine water rock dumps…as necessary to evaluate releases of hazardous substances…”
When the EPA hit Hennis with $300,000 in fines, he said, he “waved the white flag” and allowed the agency on his property.
And this was the result after the EPA went to his mine:
24 hours passed with no notification to the lower states or Navajo Nation; the White House ignored mentioning the incident; and it took a week for the EPA administrator to tour Durango downstream, while refusing to visit Silverton itself.
The EPA is unaccountable for anything they do. They have a history of destructive actions and they won’t be held accountable.
And now estimates at cleanup range from $338 million to $27 billion.
I wonder if these EPA goons are the ones out of the Denver office who shit in the hallways of their building? (From GovExec last year.)
It appears, however, that a regional office has reached a new low: Management for Region 8 in Denver, Colo., wrote an email earlier this year to all staff in the area pleading with them to stop inappropriate bathroom behavior, including defecating in the hallway.
In the email, obtained by Government Executive, Deputy Regional Administrator Howard Cantor mentioned “several incidents” in the building, including clogging the toilets with paper towels and “an individual placing feces in the hallway” outside the restroom.
Confounded by what to make of this occurrence, EPA management “consulted” with workplace violence “national expert” John Nicoletti, who said that hallway feces is in fact a health and safety risk. He added the behavior was “very dangerous” and the individuals responsible would “probably escalate” their actions.
Yeah, they escalated it to the tune of 3 million gallons of toxic sludge that they smeared across the western US.