Why New Mexico Resorted To Suing EPA For Gold King Mine Spill

PA Pundits - International

By John-Michael Seibler ~

A back-hoe operator accidentally struck an oil pipeline in Alaska in 1994, and 1,000 to 5,000 gallons of oil spilled into the Skagway River. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had his supervisor—who was at-home and off-duty at the time of the accident—criminally prosecuted for negligent discharge under the Clean Water Act.

A district court sentenced him to six months in prison, another six months in a halfway house, another six months on supervised release, and imposed a $5,000 fine.

Rayna Willhite of Aztec, N.M., holds a bottle of water she collected from the Animas River on Aug. 6, 2015. (Photo: Jerry McBride/The Durango Herald / Polaris/Newscom)Rayna Willhite of Aztec, N.M., holds a bottle of water she collected from the Animas River on Aug. 6, 2015. (Photo: Jerry McBride/The Durango Herald / Polaris/Newscom)

A second back-hoe operator accidentally struck open the flooded Gold King Mine of Colorado in August 2015, and 3,000,000 gallons of yellow water laced with mercury, lead, and other toxic heavy metals spilled into the Animas River—a regional source of…

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