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Fallout Continues Over Colorado Mine Spill, Three Times Larger Than Stated


#1

Fallout Continues Over Colorado Mine Spill, Three Times Larger Than Stated

Nadia Prupis, staff writer

The spill which sent toxic waste from an abandoned mine into a Colorado waterway last week released three million gallons of contaminates into the state's 126-mile Animas River—not one million, as previously announced, according to new estimates by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).


#2

Yes. Abandoned free market scams abound in Colorado. If isn't a uranium mine, it is a smelter, a steel mill, a mineral processing site. And do not ignore the thousands of gas and oil wells. From the beginning of the looting, public policy has been "check your own badge", or as President Clinton might say a Public-Private Partnership. The business model is almost always the same. Initially some nice, prosperous company comes in and things look good. The wells are drilled, the oil flows. But conditions change and the first owner sells out to a second party, and of course the new owner picks up the liability of that property. In the end, somebody with one shovel and a pickup buys the site for fifty bucks and mucks around there loosing money and then drives off. Policy needs to change. The law needs to state that the guy that gets the first permit, an individual not some company that can vanish like a ghost, assumes all responsibility for environment damage and promises to clean that up thoroughly and that gets enforced. Much of the mining is done on public land and the game is that "I get all the money" and "You, the government" gets all the grief." Sure some contractor with a backhoe screwed up. But it was not the Feds who screwed up. It is the Congress who screwed up, being horrid stewards of public land.


#3

Republican solution: Defund the EPA some more.


#4

Did the EPA hire the same PR firm as BP? Their press releases mirror those of BP after the Deep Horizon disaster (not even a century will repair that damage). Reagan hamstringed the EPA during his first two years in office and then GHWB and GWB continued to undermine the agency: underfunding, understaffing, and appointing questionable administrators: Anne Gorsuch (Reagan appointee) "Gorsuch based her administration of the EPA on the New Federalism approach of downsizing federal agencies by delegating their functions and services to the individual states.[5] She believed that the EPA was over-regulating business and that the agency was too large and not cost-effective. During her 22 months as agency head, she cut the budget of the EPA by 22%, reduced the number of cases filed against polluters, relaxed Clean Air Act regulations, and facilitated the spraying of restricted-use pesticides. She cut the total number of agency employees, and hired staff from the industries they were supposed to be regulating.[3] Environmentalists contended that her policies were designed to placate polluters, and accused her of trying to dismantle the Agency.[1]

Christine Todd Whitman was yet another marionette appointed by Bush.

And it will take decades to get it back to where it is capable of doing all it was created to do.


#5

Isn't this always the case? Play down the extent of the "accident" and the damage, telling us the truth in dribbles to make it more palatable.

Like the Horizon, the first report was that it was not a major leak and would be contained easily...


#6

The area that initially broke is full of abandoned toxic mines.
Letting the local officials determine whether to name the area a cleanup site is like letting Japan control nuclear power. Dumb and Dumber....

Instead of doing something, the Repugs are playing with their Trump.
Instead of doing something, the Demos are playing silent.

But arsenic, lead, cadmium....etc isn't really bad for animals.
It will all disappear and we'll get back to Standard Operating Delusion

All the while the infrastructure in the Country goes to hell.

....Bernie is looking better each and every day.....
....You add Warren and I'd say it is a winning ticket.....


#7

"Fallout" has, for my lifetime, referred to radioactive dust which falls out of the sky.

The use of this loaded word in reference to a non-airborne, non-radioactive, liquid sludge ground-level spill - sans nuclear explosion as well- is perhaps not the best choice and may be confusing.

The seriousness of the mine spill could instead be presented without implications to the subconscious (or the conscious) that it is somehow identical or equivalent to the effects of nuclear weapons, such as quick and agonizing death from radiation burns or from fast-moving cancer.

I realize it's the anniversary of the dawn of the atomic age and first use of atomic weapons, which actually did produce fallout.

If clicks are an unmitigated good, in the way that there is no such thing as bad publicity, fine. Language and word definitions inevitably change over time. And not everyone is so literal-minded as to even care about this.

Even so, please find a different way to describe mine spills, because it just made me think of real fallout all over again, and I went looking for my school desk to hide under.

I'm too old, and too big to fit under it now, so it's a slight problem- at least, until i have a cup of coffee and half a cigarette and think about something else, like money, or sex, or the latest Netflix reruns. Thank you.


#8

The EPA and its contractor "accidentally" removed (with an excavator) a "plug into a toxic waste filled mine releasing (3 million gallons of toxic waste) polluting an entire river system, and as we speak days later, 500 gallons a minute are still flowing into the rivers? The EPA has the flabergasting gall to say "(the) waste is unlikely to have harmed wildlife in the area"!? Just what exactly was the EPA trying to accomplish by this idiot move?? This is likely to not result in any change in policy regulating mines or dangerous methods or toxic waste produced or who is responsible! Its likely no actual person will be held accountable and fired, as well as gutless morons (read Congress) not demanding any regulatory changes - after all, gotta keep that "growth" comin and profits above all else......


#9

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


#10

With "friends" like the EPA, who needs enemies? This country is being rotted out, just like Chris Hedges and others often speak. The oligarchs, and their "pillage and plunder" legacy, are all around us; and with help from incompetent nincompoops from the EPA, our rivers are being turned into toxic nightmares, a riverine-themed Chernobyl.
I have yet, at the age of 56, to see the Grand Canyon; I wonder, if I ever were to get the chance, if I'll even want to.


#11

Yeah. Makes you feel all warm and safe inside, don't it?


#12

I presume that they (an EPA contractor - not the EPA) dug into the plugged portal not knowing there was a large volume of water backed up behind it - and perhaps couldn't have known - were mine maps even available for this old mine? The plug would have probably blown out on its own within a year as the head of water behind it continued to increase - creating an even large spill. Then you wold not have blamed the EPA, you would have blamed the long defunct mining company, the complete lack or regulation back when the mine was in operation, and for Colorado apparently not having any kind of orphaned mine reclamation program - which is where the blame lies.

To assign culpability to the EPA for this is like blaming a doctor for not saving a person coming into the ER with a severed aorta from a gunshot. Yeah - suing them - leaving them even with less funding - is a great idea. Maybe the Navajo Nation would be happier if we should just turn the EPA's functions over to Peabody Coal or the Heartland Institute.


#13

Uh, I say, instead of requiring the first owner to be responsible for cleanup... of any new sites.... let's not even DO new sites... NO MORE OIL DRILLING, no more anything drilling. .. No more mining either, especially gold and sliver... why do we need more?... we have plenty above ground... just go to a garage sale and you can find plenty. NO one needs to buy NEW, therefore creating demand.... it's disgusting... I brought this up at a store new me... a new age store.... which, I have always found to be a good environment for me when stressed, with the meditative music, incense and plenty of other things I like... but, they really do have a large selection of silver jewelry... so, one day a year of two ago... I brought this idea up about how we do not need to mine for more of gold and silver... this was a bit after the floods that flooded the tailing ponds of these mines in Canada... remember that?.... The person there, was not too happy with me.... I mean, it's not like I mentioned it front of customers... just to her, to make her think... although she is not the owner...


#14

I had been saying over the years.... this all is going to be a war... one side wins a battle here the other a battle there... but in the end... no one is going to win this environmental war... the stupid side... (we all know which side that is) ... and the "other side" ( which does NOT have enough warriors) ... both sides... only see the trees and not the forest...


#15

Hey, I know what to call my "education on environmental issues classes"... Earth camp Training... no, maybe Earth Mother's Training Camp... no.... how about... Training Camp for Earth Lovers.... yeah, I like that one...


#16

I travelled this area and you need to see Durango, Ouray and Teluride, too. In fact this is a majestic and magical area. The Flaming Gorge on the Green River and The Grand Canyon are best seen by raft, however, they're increasing the commercial development of all natural treasures; the louts. I think for about $5 Billion from the DoD budget, plus ending the Oily Boys subsidies, we could save so many places and keep the mining, oil and gas frackers away from our common and shared sacred places. BTW, the water affected is used for crop irrigation, livestock and human drinking purposes. The EPA is not to be trusted; ever.


#17

I guess the original owner of the mine no longer has to foot the costs for containing the toxins?

I am sure there a lot of companies that will now want the EPA to come around to "accidentaly" release the stuff they got stored up behind sand dikes and walls. This will add billions to profits.


#18

You can sat that again:

....Bernie is looking better each and every day.....
....You add Warren and I'd say it is a winning ticket.....


#19

I like this article because it shows negligence of the EPA and the poor math they employ when determining amounts. Funny how the EPA is filled with scientists, yet somehow simple math escapes them. I choose to not believe, instead I prefer the truth...the EPA lies.


#20

The greatest amount of newly-mined silver and gold is used in electronics and electrical devices, not jewelry. Of course, silver and gold are eminently recyclable and maybe we need to insist that that jewelry makers provide their recycled content.