The EPA’s response to the Gold King Mine seems to be from the delay and deny playbook and the greens are letting their agency get away with it. Three million gallons of toxic sludge is accidentally released into the Animas River with potential damage to wildlife and causing the closure drinking water supplies. No reasonable person wishes disasters like this on anyone. However, the green and media response has been interesting. Compared to the Duke Energy coal ash release or the West Virginia tank rupture, the response to this is essentially crickets chirping.
The EPA’s clean up resulted in a release of gold mining wastes, which contains heavy metals. The EPA is said to have delayed notification. It missed the quantity of the release. It is described as an accident. And the EPA has said, well, maybe it’s not all that toxic and it will wash down eventually. Governor Hickenlooper thinks it’s a big deal and is “disappointed” with the EPA’s initial response. I heard that Ms. McCarthy is going to the site today.
A number of my acquaintances in the industrial environmental community are viewing this with great irony. There are no screams from the greenies because the accident was caused by their pet agency. Colorado Riverkeepers has the strongest response I’ve seen, deeply disappointed. I haven’t seen pictures of dead birds, just kayakers paddling around in the orange water. No screaming about destroying the environment. No looking for heads to roll. Is the government going to fine itself? Will there be a hue and cry for McCarthy’s resignation? Or will we just hear the cricket serenade?
When I was in the chemical industry there was no such thing as an accident. The “accident” was always preventable.
I suppose Orwell’s Animal Farm passage about all pigs being equal but some pigs being more equal applies in this case.