EPA report contradicts its stated reason for Gold King mine cleanup

The EPA is a federal agency wildly out of control and not only needs to be reined in, but senior level managers need to be arrested for fraud and corruption.

What other conclusion can we reach when we discover that a report on the Gold King mine region's rivers says that it is doubtful they harbored a viable fish population? Saving the fish in tributaries of the Animas River from pollution was the stated reason for a clean up that went disastrously wrong and polluted rivers in three states.

Daily Caller:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials say they need to control a Colorado region because decades of mining there have destroyed a local creek’s fish populations, but an internal report contradicts that claim.

Natural toxins pollute Colorado’s Cement Creek – an Animas River tributary – and it’s unclear if those waters supported aquatic life even before human interference, according to the EPA’s April 2015 Baseline Ecological Risk Assessment (BERA) report said.

“Mainstem Mineral Creek … and mainstem Cement Creek may not have supported viable fish … communities before large-scale mining activities started in the 19th century due to naturally high levels of metals and low pH levels in their surface waters,” the report said. “This represents a serious uncertainty, which would have to be considered as part of any future risk management decision-making.”

Yet EPA officials still claim acid mine waste killed Cement Creek’s fish and that reversing such pollution requires a Superfund designation, which would make more funding available for the agency and give it more legal power over private activities in the region.

“[D]ischarge from historic mining activities … have been occurring in the Animas for decades, and have led to declining fish populations in the watershed and the complete absence of fish in Cement Creek,” an EPA spokeswoman previously told The Daily Caller News Foundation. Regional Administrator Shaun McGrath has made similar claims.

The EPA unleashed three million gallons of toxic waste into Cement Creek on Aug. 5, 2015, after an agency crew penetrated Gold King Mine. The flood, which carried 880,000 pounds of dangerous metals like lead and arsenic, flowed into the Animas and San Juan rivers, polluting water for three states and the Navajo Nation.

The Animas River is only lethal to fish in a stretch of approximately seven miles, according to the BERA report, which tested more than 30 miles of the river. Much of that pollution is likely sourced from Cement and Mineral creeks.

The EPA used the excuse that fish were dying - in rivers where there were no fish previous to mining activities - in order to gain control of waterways and get more money from the Superfund program. That constitutes fraud and the managers from EPA chief McCarthy all the way down to the bureaucrats who planned the Gold King mine clean up should go to jail.

Clipping the EPA's wings will take time and most of all, effort. Rooting out fanatics who work for the agency would be a good start. Environmental protection is public policy, and ideology has no place in the decision making process.

The EPA is a federal agency wildly out of control and not only needs to be reined in, but senior level managers need to be arrested for fraud and corruption.

What other conclusion can we reach when we discover that a report on the Gold King mine region's rivers says that it is doubtful they harbored a viable fish population? Saving the fish in tributaries of the Animas River from pollution was the stated reason for a clean up that went disastrously wrong and polluted rivers in three states.

Daily Caller:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials say they need to control a Colorado region because decades of mining there have destroyed a local creek’s fish populations, but an internal report contradicts that claim.

Natural toxins pollute Colorado’s Cement Creek – an Animas River tributary – and it’s unclear if those waters supported aquatic life even before human interference, according to the EPA’s April 2015 Baseline Ecological Risk Assessment (BERA) report said.

“Mainstem Mineral Creek … and mainstem Cement Creek may not have supported viable fish … communities before large-scale mining activities started in the 19th century due to naturally high levels of metals and low pH levels in their surface waters,” the report said. “This represents a serious uncertainty, which would have to be considered as part of any future risk management decision-making.”

Yet EPA officials still claim acid mine waste killed Cement Creek’s fish and that reversing such pollution requires a Superfund designation, which would make more funding available for the agency and give it more legal power over private activities in the region.

“[D]ischarge from historic mining activities … have been occurring in the Animas for decades, and have led to declining fish populations in the watershed and the complete absence of fish in Cement Creek,” an EPA spokeswoman previously told The Daily Caller News Foundation. Regional Administrator Shaun McGrath has made similar claims.

The EPA unleashed three million gallons of toxic waste into Cement Creek on Aug. 5, 2015, after an agency crew penetrated Gold King Mine. The flood, which carried 880,000 pounds of dangerous metals like lead and arsenic, flowed into the Animas and San Juan rivers, polluting water for three states and the Navajo Nation.

The Animas River is only lethal to fish in a stretch of approximately seven miles, according to the BERA report, which tested more than 30 miles of the river. Much of that pollution is likely sourced from Cement and Mineral creeks.

The EPA used the excuse that fish were dying - in rivers where there were no fish previous to mining activities - in order to gain control of waterways and get more money from the Superfund program. That constitutes fraud and the managers from EPA chief McCarthy all the way down to the bureaucrats who planned the Gold King mine clean up should go to jail.

Clipping the EPA's wings will take time and most of all, effort. Rooting out fanatics who work for the agency would be a good start. Environmental protection is public policy, and ideology has no place in the decision making process.