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EPA claims Colorado rivers are now cleared of contamination, but can we trust them?


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(NaturalNews) Less than three weeks after the EPA spilled more than three million gallons of toxic sludge into the Animas River in Colorado during its "cleanup" of an abandoned gold mine, the agency announced that contamination levels were "trending toward pre-event conditions" and lifted restrictions on the use of water from the affected areas downstream.

Can the agency be trusted at this point, particularly after last week's revelations regarding the agency's foreknowledge of a possible spill and its failure to heed the warnings or create a contingency plan?

The EPA's shoddy handling of the entire affair has drawn sharp criticism, including accusations of gross neglect and attempts to cover up the magnitude of the environmental damage. The planning of the operation and the subsequent response to the spill on the part of the agency borders on the criminal, yet the Obama administration has remained strangely silent in the wake of the disaster.

It's a glaring indictment of the EPA and President Obama that the accident has been treated in such a cavalier fashion, especially in light of the fact that the administration and the agency have routinely and doggedly persecuted other environmental offenders who actually displayed less ignorance, ineptitude and disingenuous behavior overall compared to that agency's officials.

Why would anyone believe anything that the EPA says at this point?

Experts and residents skeptical about water quality

A number of scientists and a significant percentage of the populace in the affected regions have expressed deep skepticism towards the agency's claims that the rivers are now cleared of contamination.

The Denver Post stated:

Residents affected by the incident remain wary of the EPA in the wake of the spill. Silverton and the Navajo Nation have expressed concern with the agency.

Experts point out that metals lining the riverbed could continue to cause long-term effects for agriculture, aquatic life and other life-forms along the Animas River.

An in-depth article published by The Atlantic explores the potential impact on wildlife, particularly the fish population in the Animas River and other waterways affected by the spill.

From The Atlantic:

Humans can choose not to drink water with arsenic and lead levels 800 and 3,500 times that considered safe. But the fish had no such choice and were exposed to levels of lead, arsenic, and cadmium 200, 24 and six times, respectively, more than what is considered safe. The pH levels reached about 3.5. (Pure water is about a 7.0.) The EPA cheerily claimed that was about the same as coffee— yet most pH charts actually put the water closer to the acidity of vinegar.

These pH levels are as many as three times higher than the levels that are considered safe for trout. Trout fishing is one of the key tourist attractions in the area, and the future survival of the fish population is now uncertain. The trout that weren't killed off immediately following the spill will likely be absorbing heavy metals for years to come.

EPA has lost all credibility

Ironically, the spill followed closely on the heels of the EPA's release of new regulations regarding water quality and its unveiling of its Clean Power Plan, a sweeping set of proposals that are part of the president's climate change agenda. The Animas River fiasco has given the opposition plenty of reasons to attack the administration and the agency's plans regarding the handling of future environmental issues.

The double standards displayed by the Obama camp and the agency's failure to acknowledge the seriousness of the situation cast both in a very negative light indeed. This could lead to huge setbacks for the EPA and the administration at a crucial point of time regarding their collective agenda.

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