EPA Under Fire for Lack of Information in Creek Contamination

EPA-300Last week, while conducting work at Gold King Mine in Colorado, the EPA and the State Division of Reclamation Mining and Safety triggered a large release of mine wastewater into Cement Creek. The EPA was trying to re-open the portal to the mine. The EPA says it is working closely with first responders and local and state officials to ensure the safety of citizens to water contaminated by the spill. Colorado’s representatives have weighed in on the issue. Senator Michael Bennet personally called the EPA Deputy Administrator and the EPA regional manager last week to convey the urgency of the situation and to try to expedite the water testing. He and Congressman Scott Tipton penned a letter to the EPA Friday urging the agency to act quickly to remedy the situation. The lawmakers feel the EPA was lax in its initial response, and the subsequent release of information. Congressman Tipton stated “There is widespread frustration with the EPA’s initial response and the lack of information coming out of the agency—the poor communication is unacceptable. If a mining operator or other private business caused the spill to occur, the EPA would be all over them.” Senator Cory Gardner echoed that sentiment, saying “Many questions remain about the cause of the spill and the way information was released to impacted communities. I look forward to hearing the EPA’s answers as we work together to address this very serious situation.”

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