We told you earlier this week that the EPA had identified ten mines nationwide, four in Colorado, that are at risk of a blowout. However, those transparent folks at the EPA would not tell us where the mines were located except perhaps one near Crested Butte.
Turns out we weren’t the only ones miffed at the agency’s lack of transparency, U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton drilled EPA chief Gina McCarthy on that very matter during yesterday’s joint House hearing.
Are you revealing the locations of those mines, Tipton asked.
“If folks want to have that, I think the states were revealed,” McCarthy quibbled in her answer.
Duh! That’s why we want to know where in each state! Tipton pressed her on the question, but McCarthy refused to budge. Refused to even confirm that the Standard Mine near Crested Butte was in fact a mine they had investigated for a potential spill as reported by the AP.
“What about other districts? Do you think it’s important to reach out and give that notification in advance of potential spill areas, just as we saw in Gold King Mine, to let people know in these districts?” Tipton asked.
Apparently she does not, as she flat-out refused to reveal the location of those additional mines of concern.
However, McCarthy did use the opportunity to again brag about how transparent they were with the Gold King Mine work and resulting disaster.
Tipton’s questioning did reveal a fascinating bit of information – it turns out the EPA does not have a single mining engineer on staff to deal with these cleanups.
Oh, and that letter that Tipton and nearly 30 other lawmakers sent to the EPA back on August 15 with numerous questions about the impact of the spill on Colorado? Turns out the EPA never bothered to respond. Asked if the agency planned on answering our concerns, McCarthy said she would provide Tipton with a tentative date for a response.