An Interior Department officials says he was ordered to steer clear of pointing fingers at the EPA when investigating that agency’s spill at the Gold King Mine in August.
According to emails being released by the House Natural Resources Committee investigating the disaster, a Bureau of Reclamation employee said they were only supposed to “perform a technical evaluation of the causes.”
“Further, we understood that we were asked to stay clear of the investigative efforts … and how/why certain decisions were made, since these separate investigative efforts would be performed by others more suitable to that undertaking,” the official said.
As to who gave that order, the official refused to say in follow-up emails with the Army Corps of Engineers, which insisted the Interior Department agency tasked with investigating the spill, should have actually investigated it.
The corps was pretty clear when they peer reviewed Interior’s report where they thought the fault rested — the EPA did it.
“The actual cause of failure is some combination of issues related to EPA internal communications, administrative authorities, and/or a break in the decision path.”
That same corps official refused to sign off on the report because it was incomplete:
“I believe that the investigation and report should describe what happened internal within EPA that resulted in the path forward and eventually caused the failure. I have serious reservations with the chronology of events internal to EPA from the day of the phone call to USBR and up to the day of the mine failure.”
So, the corps official basically thinks the EPA was at fault and Interior is complicit in covering it up.
Interestingly, the only Democrat who wants to hold the EPA accountable for anything is Bernie Sanders, who won himself a primary Tuesday night in Michigan after promising to can the EPA chief over the water crisis there.
We probably would have gotten the same pledge from Bernie in Colorado, if only our Democrats actually cared more about holding the government responsible, than rushing ahead to give them a Superfund for their efforts.