There was another spill at the Gold King Mine last week, and true to form, the EPA didn’t tell anyone about it. It was only after the Durango Herald discovered what happened that it got any media play at all, and we’ve yet to hear a peep out of the Denver Post, “The State’s Largest Newspaper.”
The EPA says the spill was caused by rain, that they followed procedures, which apparently means the public is not to be notified.
An internal alert was sent Aug. 23 among EPA staff members and some local officials, but the EPA did not notify media and the public about the spillage.
“Cement Creek is flowing turbid and discolored due to heavy rains at the Gold King Mine Site,” Brent Maier, congressional liaison for the EPA, wrote in an email with a subject line “Gold King Mine/Cement Creek Alert.”
“This additional water has overwhelmed the recirculation pumps that normally recirculate treated water that has seeped from the sediment filter bags, as the water can contain residual treatment solids. The treated water overflowed the sediment filter bag pad for a short period of time.”
It took the EPA two hours to get the situation under control, although they have not told us how much of the yuck actually spilled or what exactly was in it — precipitated metals, lime, discharge water and solids, Kool Aid, it’s all very vague.
The EPA says the spill “never reached a level” where they needed to notify the public. Which is interesting, because neither did that major spill last year. It wasn’t until we ratted them out that the agency came clean, so to speak.
It appears the Durango Herald only learned about the event through dogged reporting, two days after the spill, after rumors spread when the head gates closed.
Two spills in one year without notifying the public, this is what we have to look forward to when the EPA begins Superfund work up there — secrets and coverups.
Kudos to the Durango Herald for doing their public service duty.