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EPA should be criminally investigated for Gold King Mine toxic spill ... but of course they won't be

EPA pollution

(NaturalNews) Unless a criminal investigation is launched against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), we may never know exactly what caused the August 5, 2015, Gold King Mine disaster in Colorado, while those responsible may never be held accountable for their actions.

The agency was in charge of the cleanup of the abandoned mine but the operation was bungled, allowing millions of gallons of toxic waste to enter the Animas River, and to subsequently poison waterways in three states, as well as the Navajo Nation.

EPA double standards

The EPA has admitted that they are to blame for the disaster, but unlike the private companies the agency routinely pursues – 185 eco-criminals were jailed in 2015 with the EPA's help – it applies a double-standard when it comes to its own screw-ups.

Paul Larkin, a former EPA criminal enforcement special agent who is now a senior legal research fellow for the Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Caller: "You may not learn about it unless you engage in a criminal investigation."

"You try to get the person furthest up the food chain in a criminal investigation," Larkin said. "The negligence is not simply due to the people on the site ... but the people further up the food chain."

From The Daily Caller:

"Meanwhile, concrete details about the spill are barely trickling out. Environmental Restoration LLC – the EPA contractor involved in the disaster that later profited from the spill – has refused to share information with the public because of an official non-disclosure agreement that may or may not actually exist."

Yes, that's right – the EPA awarded another $2.7 million in "contract enhancements" to the company it hired to clean up the mine and which, under the agency's supervision, managed to cause the spill in the first place. And that figure doesn't take into account the extra $1 million in contract enhancements the company received the day before the August 5 spill.

But that's not all that stinks about the case ...

In addition, the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Reclamation reported events that led to the Gold King Mine spill, but failed to assign blame, and was highly criticized for that failure by an Army Corps of Engineers peer reviewer.

"'The report reads like a high school kid wrote it,' Larkin said, noting that the more than 80-page document mostly includes fluff, but leaves out key details like the officials who prepared the site assessment and the remediation plan, who made the decision to work on the site and who was present at the time," The Daily Caller reported.

Contrary to the EPA's assertion that the blowout was "inevitable," the Department of the Interior admitted that the disaster was indeed preventable.

How can the agency responsible for the environment not be held accountable when it causes the same types of disasters it routinely jails others for?

Larkin noted another case in which a private employee was prosecuted for nearly the same type of environmental offense.

"'The government prosecuted Edward Hanousek, an employee of the Pacific Arctic Railway and Navigation Company, for conduct so similar to the EPA's that one can simply switch out the nouns in the prosecutor's closing argument that proved successful in that case,' Larkin and a colleague wrote in December. Had Hanousek worked for the EPA, it seems, he would never have been stigmatized and punished as a criminal."

More lies from the agency's administrator

In light of all the available evidence, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy's recent assertion to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works that the agency is treating itself as it would a private company is an obvious falsehood.

By all rights, the agency should be held accountable and a criminal investigation should be launched to identify and prosecute those responsible for what is an ongoing environmental disaster on a huge scale – and one that could have been prevented in the first place.







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