[Ed. – Well ain’t that a kick in the head. There were probably never any fish to save — even before human industrial interaction began.]
Saving the fish in tributaries of the Animas River from pollution was the stated reason for a clean up that went disastrously wrong and polluted rivers in three states.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials say they need to control a Colorado region because decades of mining there have destroyed a local creek’s fish populations, but an internal report contradicts that claim.
Natural toxins pollute Colorado’s Cement Creek – an Animas River tributary – and it’s unclear if those waters supported aquatic life even before human interference, according to the EPA’s April 2015 Baseline Ecological Risk Assessment (BERA) report said.
“Mainstem Mineral Creek … and mainstem Cement Creek may not have supported viable fish … communities before large-scale mining activities started in the 19th century due to naturally high levels of metals and low pH levels in their surface waters,” the report said. “This represents a serious uncertainty, which would have to be considered as part of any future risk management decision-making.”