Earlier in December, the EPA published a document referencing the Gold King Mine disaster, saying that they intended to “clarify any misunderstandings about the incident.” The EPA had “recently interviewed two material witnesses to the EPA’s activities at Gold King Mine” and subsequently published its own narrative of the event.
The problem arises because the Office of Inspector General is conducting an ongoing investigation into how the EPA handled the toxic spill in Colorado, at the hand of federal workers. Some of the concerns raised by lawmakers include:
- “The timing of the interview calls into question the EPA’s respect for the OIG’s ongoing investigation and commitment to ensuring the integrity of witness testimony.”
- “The EPA’s own guidance states that ‘managers should not question staff about their interactions with the OIG.’”
- “It appears likely that a regional supervisor and two officials from headquarters questioned [the on-scene coordinators] about matters central to an ongoing OIG investigation, and may have done so following their interactions with the OIG.”
- “The interview was conducted not by independent investigators or technical experts from unaffected regions, but by three EPA employees with close ties to the agency’s public response to the Gold King Mine spill.”
What’s more, lawmakers claim that the EPA is suggesting they had planned to open the mine on August 14 — nine days after the mine spill actually occurred, and that their claim is demonstrably false and is one of multiple claims that diverge from the facts and conclusions presented in reports issued previously by EPA and the Interior Department.
The EPA caused a serious and utterly avoidable toxic spill into our rivers. The federal workers involved in this environmental disaster deserve to be prosecuted to the fullest — or at least the very same punishments the EPA seeks to impose on everyday citizens in America. And if, for any reason, EPA personnel are to be given special treatment as compared to private industry, that decision…..and the reasons for it….must be justified to the American people.
You can read more on the investigation from The Daily Caller