Have you seen the story leading the Denver Post’s website of the mine waste flowing down the Animas River in San Juan County? It looks pretty nasty.
The Post is sketchy on the details as to who or what actually caused the spill of sediment and metals, but the Silverton Standard and Miner has the details, and the admission:
Mayor Chris Tookey said that EPA regional administrator Martin Hestmark told her that the EPA takes responsibility and has notified officials in Silverton and Durango of the situation.
It seems that the EPA and officials from the state’s division of reclamation, mining and safety were on the site investigating contamination at the Gold King Mine, when they accidently, we presume, “triggered” the release of a million gallons of waste water into Cement Creek.
The flash flood swept away a Chevrolet Suburban, damaged county roads and plugged waterways with timber and debris.
According to the official EPA statement, they will be studying whether the spill has caused any permanent damage. There was no mention as to how in the Hell they managed to cause the spill in the first place.
In typical government fashion, they wildly deflected and said it was a good thing they were there when they caused the spill.
“This unfortunate incident underscores the very reason EPA and the State of Colorado are focused on addressing the environmental risks at abandoned mine sites,” said David Ostrander, director of EPA’s emergency response program in Denver.
We are thankful that no one was harmed, but there should be an investigation as to how they caused the spill. The question is, who would investigate the investigators?