The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the agency tasked with supposedly protecting the environment, has just created what could be one of the largest economic disasters to ever hit the Southwestern United States.
An estimated 3 million gallons of wastewater spilled out into the Animas River in Colorado, after the EPA says one of their federal cleanup crews “accidentally” released wastewater from the Gold King Mine in Colorado. The dangerous water turned the river into a disgusting sludge of orange contamination, and has raised concerns throughout the entire Southwest.
Ten of Millions Could be Affected
The contaminated water, which is filled with dangerous heavy metals like lead and arsenic, is heading right towards the Colorado River, a system that provides drinking water for millions of people throughout the Southeastern United States.
As of last night, the contaminated water, which according to the EPA is still pouring out of the mine at a rate of 550 gallons per minute, had already reached parts of Northern New Mexico. The Animas flows directly into the San Juan River in New Mexico, and the San Juan flows into Utah, where it joins the Colorado River in Lake Powell.
New Mexico Environment Department Cabinet Secretary Ryan Flynn said the mine is a federal Superfund site — which means it is severely contaminated — and he said estimates of the amount of contaminated water released will increase.
“I can tell you that it was much more than a million gallons,” he said in a briefing Friday evening in Aztec. “The amount of contamination that was visible today — it was staggering.”
Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet issued the following statement, in part, on the spill.
“Our top priority is to support efforts to protect the health and safety of the citizens there, focus on cleanup and recovery efforts, and make certain that state and federal agencies are taking all necessary steps to mitigate future problems.”
“The community is rightfully very frustrated with the EPA’s slow communication and response and we are relaying these concerns at the highest level possible.The EPA must recognize the severity of this incident and respond with all the resources available. An effective command structure on the ground in Durango will be critical to the response, and must include close coordination with other assisting state and federal agencies.”
Southwestern United States Drinking Water Will be Affected
Officials from the EPA say the contamination will likely hit Lake Powell, where they believe it will settle into sediment throughout the Lake. Glen Canyon National Recreation Area officials said visitors will be warned starting Monday to avoid drinking, swimming or boating on affected stretches of the lake and river until further notice.
Some 20 million people get their drinking water from the reservoir of Lake Powell, which serves as a holding tank for the Colorado River Upper Basin States: Colorado , New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. Lake Powell is the second largest man-made reservoir in the United States, right behind Lake Mead — which could eventually be affected, as it receives water from Lake Powell.
Local government officials in New Mexico and Colorado are blasting the EPA, saying they didn’t alert communities soon enough after the spill and that answers have been slow in coming.
“There’s not a lot we can do. We can keep people away (from the river) and keep testing. We still don’t know how bad it is,” San Juan County Emergency Management Director Don Cooper said.
Officials in both cities shut down the river’s access to water treatment plants, and say the communities have a 90-day supply of water and other water sources to draw from. The EPA is now warning people to stay out of the river and to keep domestic animals from drinking from it.
— Off Grid Survival (@offgridsurvival) August 9, 2015
This is the Same Agency who just seized all of our nation’s waterways.
Earlier this year, The Obama administration claimed unprecedented power over this nation’s waterways; laying claim to all of America’s creeks, wetlands, rivers, lakes, and yes even ditches and ponds. Under the new regulations, which were unconstitutionally granted by President Obama, The EPA was given power to regulate all U.S. waterways including isolated wetlands and ponds on private lands.
At the time, environmental groups celebrated the unconstitutional power grab, but now many are left asking if this agency is capable of managing anything. It seems the only thing the EPA excels at is destroying our environment, while at the same time punishing land owners in the name of that same environment.