The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has made a major mess of the Animas River in Colorado and beyond, and now, some analysts are suggesting it may have even been a deliberate plot to bilk taxpayers and shut down mining in the region. Critics of the EPA are pointing to a letter by geologist Dave Taylor, published a week before the toxic spill, warning residents to protect themselves from the EPA and predicting a similar disaster in the same area purposely caused by the controversial agency. Now, almost as if on cue, the EPA is seeking more money and more power to deal with the crisis that it created. Regardless of whether the environmental disaster was caused “accidentally” through gross negligence or on purpose, which at this point is impossible to know, critics and even some lawmakers say it is time to hold the EPA accountable — not hand it a bigger budget.
Virtually every article in the establishment press about the EPA’s toxic spill has emphasized repeatedly that the discharge of millions of gallons of heavy metal-laden waste into the river was an “accident.” Apparently EPA workers were at the mine with heavy machinery to put up a cement wall to plug a leak from the abandoned mine’s tailings pond, and to put in pipes to drain and treat the toxic wastewater. Instead, they broke the barrier holding the wastewater back, releasing it into the river. How reporters know that it was an “accident” is never explained — unless the word of a bureaucrat at an agency notorious for dishonesty and lawlessness is now sufficient to establish something as fact among today’s journalists. However, as outrage grew across America — especially among those impacted — EPA boss Gina McCarthy did take responsibility for the fiasco. “I am absolutely, deeply sorry that this ever happened,” she said. The EPA claims to have misjudged the water pressure behind the plug they were messing with that was holding back the sludge, resulting in the spill. The agency is now being slapped with lawsuits.
For decades prior to the spill, the EPA had been battling locals in its efforts to designate the area as a “Superfund” site, which unlocks massive amounts of “clean-up” funding for the agency. Now, the EPA is suggesting that if only residents and their elected officials had submitted to the agency’s demands — and potentially killed off their own communities and livelihoods in the process by chasing away tourists and quashing any hopes for future mining — everything might have been fine. According to a July 30 letter to the editor by retired geologist Dave Taylor, published in The Silverton Standard newspaper, however, EPA bureaucrats were so desperate to get the “Superfund” funding that they might mess up the Animas River with toxic sludge to help “justify their existence” and force taxpayers to “feed the beast.”