The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) inspector general and the Department of Justice (DOJ) have launched a probe looking into the toxic water spill at Gold King mine last year. The agencies are investigating whether any federal officials engaged in criminal activity in the buildup to and aftermath of a leak of wastewater at an abandoned mine.
Several senators led the charge to launch the investigation. “I am glad to see that a criminal investigation into the Gold King Mine disaster is finally under way,” said Senator John Barrasso, R-WY, “…the EPA has not taken responsibility for the mess it made.” Senator John McCain, R-AZ also concurred with Barrasso’s comments, saying “There’s no question as to the EPA’s culpability for this spill and this criminal investigation is critical to ensuring justice is served for all those impacted by this terrible disaster.”
The spill occurred after an EPA inspection crew was examining existing leaks, with 3 million gallons of toxic water poured into a creek that fed the Animas and San Juan rivers. The spill affected populations in Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah, as well as multiple Indian nations. After the disaster, the EPA released its own report that did not accept responsibility for the disaster, however, a later report from the Department of the Interior faulted the EPA for not taking precautions.
For more information on the investigation, please follow the link below.
Justice, IG Launch Criminal Probe Into EPA’s Self-Created Disaster, Government Executive