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EPA toxic spill sums up government incompetence, corruption

Written By | Aug 21, 2015

PASADENA, Calif., Aug. 21, 2015 — Earlier this month, on Aug. 5, the Environmental Protection Agency completely botched a routine mine inspection. Instead of protecting the environment, it dumped millions of gallons of dangerous toxic waste into Colorado’s Animas River, poisoning the water supply for thousands of nearby residents.

From start to finish, the EPA bungled the situation. Retired geologist Dave Taylor, who predicted the spill in a letter to a local newspaper six days before it happened, was blown away by how poorly the EPA handled their work.

“They just didn’t think,” Taylor told Breitbart News. “It was incompetent and stupid for them to go up to that existing plug and try to remove it without knowing how much water was upstream and behind it and what the hydrostatic pressure was.”

The spill was started by an EPA contractor who accidentally knocked down a wall that was holding back waste water. It immediately turned the river orange and quickly spread throughout three states. The damage has been devastating; it could cost up to $30 billion to clean up the 3 million gallons of hazardous waste. Arsenic levels in the water rose to 300 times normal levels, and lead concentrations rose to 3,500 times normal levels.

In typical government fashion, it took the EPA six days to apologize for the spill, and even that apology was filled with implications that the whole story has been overblown.

The apology is little comfort to the residents of the Navajo Nation, the largest Indian reservation in the country.  Like many in the region, the Navajos rely on the Animas River system for their water and are exploring the possibility of suing the federal government for its ineptitude.

The EPA is one of the most corrupt government agencies in Washington, and that’s saying something when you consider the multitude of scandals that have taken place in the IRS, VA and DOJ over the last eight years. The reasons the EPA was at this mine in the first place suggests possible criminal misconduct.

Todd Hennis, the owner of the Gold King Mine in Colorado, says he resisted letting the EPA come in to investigate his site for years because he knew the contamination they were looking for was actually coming from a different mine. However, the agency threatened him with daily $35,000 fines, and after it imposed one of those fines, he relented and let them in.

This is not the first time that the EPA has come under fire for possibly extorting American citizens. They have been accused of this practice many times. Last year, the EPA threatened a Wyoming family with daily $75,000 fines simply because they had the gall to build a pond on their own property.

Imagine if this spill had taken place under that watch of a coal or oil company.  You don’t have to imagine; you probably remember how hysterical the media still gets when talking about the BP oil spill, even though five years later, the Gulf of Mexico has roared back to life.

From the start, the EPA bungled this project. That has real-life consequences for thousands of people that could last for years after the bureaucrats have left town.  This spill, along with the several examples of waste, corruption and excessive regulations should cause serious concerns in Washington. It has certainly impacted the residents of Colorado, New Mexico and Utah.

Andrew Mark Miller