There are times when we cannot improve upon perfection. This is one of those times:
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Government investigators squarely blamed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday for a 3 million-gallon wastewater spill from a Colorado gold mine, saying an EPA cleanup crew rushed its work and failed to consider the complex engineering involved, triggering the very blowout it hoped to avoid.
We confess that we are quite surprised the Obama administration determined and admitted that the Obama administration mucked up.
We are not a bit surprised that the EPA made a significant error in failing to consider complex engineering, because as we told PeakNation™ weeks ago, the EPA does not have actual mining engineers on staff to oversee mine cleanups.
Turns out that at least one EPA official “expressed uncertainty” as to what the Hell they were trying to do at the mine site, so a meeting with an Army Corps of Engineers expert was scheduled – nine days after the freaking blowout.
“It’s outrageous that the EPA was doing this work without having an understanding of the conditions in the mine or the potential environmental impacts downstream should a spill occur,” U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton said in a statement. “The EPA is responsible for this disaster and will be held accountable.”
Most likely it will be left up to Republicans in Congress to hold the EPA accountable, because the EPA sure won’t do it.
Of course we remember EPA chief Gina McCarthy telling us days after the spill that individuals would be held responsible, pending an investigation.
But according to the AP, “The report stops short of assigning fault to any individuals, despite prior claims from EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy that it would determine fault and any negligence.”
Here’s what the agency now plans to do with the investigations:
EPA spokeswoman Nancy Grantham said the report “will help inform EPA’s ongoing efforts to work safely and effectively at mine sites as we carry out our mission to protect human health and the environment.”
Again, we are not surprised. We have absolute zero confidence that anyone in the agency will be fired for the disaster they caused in August. About the best we can hope for, is that an agency tasked with mine cleanups, might actually hire an engineer to lead those efforts.