Right Hooks

EPA Poisons Animas River

If the EPA was a private business, it would be facing the threat of millions of dollars in fines.

Dan Gilmore · Aug. 10, 2015
The Animas River before it was "improved" with toxic sludge. Thanks, EPA | Photo courtesy Clyde frog, Wikimedia Commons

The Environmental “Protection” Agency started a three-million-gallon, man-caused disaster Thursday when the agency accidentally released a deluge of toxic sludge from a Colorado mine it was trying to clean up. The EPA was investigating leakage from Gold King Mine, trying to break down the heavy metals in the water by raising the acidity of the liquid in settling ponds. But while it was using heavy machinery, the water flowed free into the Animas River. As the soup of lead arsenic, zinc, copper, iron and, oh yes, water, flowed downstream at a rate of 500 feet a minute, residents in Durango watched as the yellow-orange liquid washed into town, destroying the tourist trade and possibly the river’s aquatic life. A state of emergency was declared, as water pumps were shut off and bottled water was shipped in. No word yet on when the river can reopen and what the long-term effect to the environment will be. Will the “protector” of the environment get investigated? If the EPA was a private business, it would be facing the threat of millions of dollars in fines and the accident would prompt a round of regulation.

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