Editorial: EPA Flat Out Fibbed in Response to Animas River Spill

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(EnviroNews DC News Bureau)Editorial: In response to the catastrophic Gold King, Animas River mine-tailing spill, caused by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) itself on August 5, 2015, Gina McCarthy and the Agency have made a patently false statement to the media.

McCarthy assured the press in Colorado, “The very good news is that the data so far is showing that water quality does restore itself to its prior conditions” — a statement clearly aimed at damage control as the Agency reels in the wake of its own environmental disaster. The EPA should know better.

The idea that water, contaminated with substances elemental in nature, will “restore itself to its prior conditions,” falls flat in the face of first-grade-level science. It also insinuates that EPA embraces the old notion that “the solution to pollution is dilution” — a concept known by science and toxicology to be untrue.

Undoubtedly, much of the heavy metal contamination from the Animas spill will land itself on river beds, to be cumulatively absorbed by fish and other wildlife over years and decades, as it bio-concentrates its way up the food chain, landing eventually on the dinner plates of humans.

There is also the almost certain inevitability that flooding and irrigation will carry more of the fallout onto floodplains, farmlands and rural properties, contaminating soil, crops and groundwater supplies along the way.

It is the strong editorial position of EnviroNews USA that pollution, elemental in nature, does not magically disappear once it is freed from a safely sequestered position underground, and let loose into the environment. Once the horse is out of the barn, it will remain out of the barn — unless it is captured and put back in that is — not an easy task of course when an entire river ecosystem is soiled.

The EPA has a tough job with rickety old mine sites like Gold King to say the least, and has many cards stacked against it in the face of the fossilized “1872 Mining Law.” Nevertheless, it mustn’t tell whoppers in an effort to quell outraged citizens and community concerns.

Other than the minuscule samples taken for water testing, has even one particle of heavy metal contamination, of the three million gallons let loose into the Animas from this spill, been cleaned up? If not, that means it’s still out there for all living things to be exposed to. So let’s just all be honest about it.

A video containing part of McCarthy’s statement to the press can be viewed below.