Another mine owner: EPA messing dangerously with mines, toxin pools near Gold King since 2005

Another mine owner: EPA messing dangerously with mines, toxin pools near Gold King since 2005
The Animas River, where orange is the new blue. (Image: CNN iReport)

[Ed. – The EPA plan highlighted in bold does sound inexplicably experimental.]

The 3-million-gallon heavy-metal spill two weeks ago in Silverton polluted three states and touched off national outrage. But the EPA escaped public wrath in 2005 when it secretly dumped up to 15,000 tons of poisonous waste into another mine 124 miles away. That dump – containing arsenic, lead and other materials – materialized in runoff in the town of Leadville, said Todd Hennis, who owns both mines along with numerous others.

“If a private company had done this, they would’ve been fined out of existence,” Hennis said. “I have been battling the EPA for 10 years and they have done nothing but create pollution. About 20 percent (of Silverton residents) think it’s on purpose so they can declare the whole area a Superfund site.” …

In frustration, Hennis sent the county sheriff a certified notice that any EPA officials found near his property were trespassing and should be arrested. …

[I]n 2010, the EPA asked Hennis to grant its agents access to Gold King Mine in Silverton because the agency was investigating hazardous runoff from other mines in the region. …

The official request turned into a threat, Hennis said: “They said, ‘If you don’t give us access within four days, we will fine you $35,000 a day.’”

An EPA administrative order dated May 12, 2011 said its inspectors wanted to conduct “drilling of holes and installing monitoring wells, sampling and monitoring water, soil, and mine waste material from mine water rock dumps…as necessary to evaluate releases of hazardous substances…” [WTF?  Drill holes to see what happens?? – Ed.]

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