The “event happened and the Obama administration did not show up.”
While the American press focused on a supposed Russia-Trump connection, the new head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently reminded the country about a real domestic disaster caused by the Obama Administration: The Animas River Spill.
Scott Pruitt visited the Animas River site last week, where over 3 million gallons of acidic, heavy-metal-laden waste water was accidentally released into the environment, and had some harsh words for Team Obama.
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt marked the two-year anniversary of the Gold King Mine disaster in Colorado on Friday by pointing out how the Obama administration erred in causing the massive 3 million gallons toxic spill.
“We want to make sure things are done right,” Pruitt told local news ahead of touring the mine site. “If anyone else would have done what the EPA had done under Obama, with respect to this spill, they would have likely been put in jail.”
…The “event happened and the Obama administration did not show up,” Pruitt said. “Neither the president nor the vice president came to this site after it occurred. And Coloradans have said that they have felt left out.”
Legal Insurrection readers may recall that the EPA decided that it did not have to pay damage claims totaling $1.2 billion from the 2015 disaster, claiming sovereign immunity.
Pruitt is re-evaluating the rejected claims.
“I’ve already sent out a letter to all the claimants who have filed claims asking them to resubmit,” Pruitt told The Denver Post in a phone interview ahead of his visit to the Gold King. “Some of those folks I’m sure I’ll meet today, and I’m looking forward to speaking with them directly. Farmers and ranchers, business owners, the recreational activities that occur on the Animas River — all were impacted, and from my perspective it was a wrong that we need to make right.”
However, it appears that not all claims are being reconsidered.
All five members of New Mexico’s congressional delegation say they are worried some promises made by Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt during his trip Friday to the Gold King Mine won’t apply to their state and the Navajo Nation.
The federal lawmakers said in a letter to Pruitt that “it is … our understanding” that rejected damage claims from the massive 2015 spill at the Gold King made by the state and the tribe won’t be reconsidered, unlike rebuffed claims made by citizens and businesses across the areas impacted by the disaster.
“If true, this unequal treatment would be very disappointing and we would seek clarification on this matter, and reconsideration of this as well,” the letter said. “Finally, we strongly believe the EPA needs to support and provide funding for independent water-testing by the state of New Mexico.”
In response, the EPA indicates that it cannot reconsider a claim once the claimant has sued them in court, as New Mexico and the Navajo Nation have done.
It appears that the area around the initial release (Silverton, Colorado), has recovered economically from the Animas River disaster. Perhaps it is an sign that the Trump Team will be able to clean up the remainder of the Obama Administration’s messes.DONATE
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