Mistake(s) made by human beings? What is the world coming to?
Only thing I have been wondering since this happened is why they didn't replug the thing... then I saw a picture that showed how friggin' big the hole & mine area are... unbelievable! How they breached the dam without killing whoever did it is amazing.
BTW: this is why, no matter how careful and intelligent you are in designing a nuclear power plant you will have an "accident".
John Gruver, a resident of Moss Beach, on August 11, 2015 at 7:31 am
"Aug. 8, 2015. About 1 million gallons of wastewater from Colorado's Gold King Mine began spilling into the Animas River on Wednesday when a cleanup crew supervised by the Environmental Protection Agency accidentally breached a debris dam that had formed inside the mine. The mine has been inactive since 1923."
It seems to me Gina McCarty (head of EPA) should be fired, President Obama should be impeached, and the responsibilities of EPA be taken over by BP and Monsanto. Let free enterprise get the job done.
Boney Bills, a resident of Half Moon Bay, on August 11, 2015 at 7:42 am
Absolutely catastrophic environmentally and simply terrible crisis management by the EPA.
Coasters, a resident of Half Moon Bay, on August 11, 2015 at 9:29 am
^^^ It seems to me Gina McCarty (head of EPA) should be fired, President Obama should be impeached, and the responsibilities of EPA be taken over by BP and Monsanto. Let free enterprise get the job done. ^^^
Now you're talking! Free Market Environmentalism: Web Link
fdrouillard, a resident of Another Coastside community, on August 11, 2015 at 11:41 am
^^^ BTW: this is why, no matter how careful and intelligent you are in designing a nuclear power plant you will have an "accident". ^^^
This is why you don't want the federal government trying to do too many things. And it may be why you don't want our federal government running a nuclear power plant.
fdrouillard, a resident of Another Coastside community, on August 11, 2015 at 11:44 am
Not only the spill but a reluctance to report it, too:
State Environment Secretary Ryan Flynn said the EPA did not notify his department of the spill until almost 24 hours after they'd caused it. He said the agency's initial response to the disaster was "cavalier and irresponsible."
How long is the lead and arsenic going to impact the river? Is the heavier lead being deposited all along the stream bed, to remain for years to come?
uffish thought, a resident of Half Moon Bay, on August 11, 2015 at 12:07 pm
This is why you don't want the federal government trying to do too many things.
Or Chevron, or BP, or Dupont...
Coasters, a resident of Half Moon Bay, on August 11, 2015 at 1:58 pm
fd: It's not a function of the organization in charge, it's a function of the of the human condition...
e.g., anybody surprised by the "revelation" that air traffic controllers fall asleep at the scope... particularly the ones working the graveyard shift? We're not meant to do that... we're meant to be (not-too-soundly-so-we-can-hear-and-react-favorably-to-the-attacking-sabre-toothed-tiger) sleeping at 2 A.M.
John Gruver, a resident of Moss Beach, on August 11, 2015 at 2:13 pm
Anyone who has been involved in crisis and incident management knows about "the fog of war". There are very few individuals on the planet with the nerves of steel, competence and planning skills to survive a large crisis and keep their job. Someone's about to lose theirs at the EPA.
Coasters, a resident of Half Moon Bay, on August 11, 2015 at 2:55 pm
It's a function of the devious rascals within the EPA. A retired geologist predicted what would happen a week before the spill: Web Link
Based on my experience as a professional geologist, it appears to me that the EPA is setting your town and the area up for a possible Superfund blitzkrieg. -- Dave Taylor
fdrouillard, a resident of Another Coastside community, on August 12, 2015 at 1:06 pm
"Nine days after 3 million gallons of mine waste spilled into the Animas River, Colorado officials, with the support of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, reopened the waterway in La Plata County to recreation and signed off on some farmers using its water for irrigation."
fdrouillard, a resident of Another Coastside community, on August 15, 2015 at 10:56 am
One can only wonder, speculate ... in amazement - how many government watch lists francis must be on?
I'll bet traveling with him is a complete nightmare, not that anyone would wish to be in that position.
George, a resident of Half Moon Bay, on August 15, 2015 at 11:18 am
I am certain everyone is pleased that the disaster was short lived and minimal in its effects. Surely that is something we can all celebrate.
That is a totally different story than who is responsible for this disaster. I certainly hope that the truth is determined and those responsible dealt with. Most importantly we learn what steps to take to assure this never happens again.
"A 1993 report from the Mineral Policy Center (now known as Earthworks) found that there were 557,650 abandoned mine sites in 32 states and that the cost then of cleaning them up was as much as $72 billion. The majority of these mines are located out West in Colorado, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and California."
""There are similar mines across the West that are currently polluting our waterways at a slower rate than this unfortunate disaster," she said. "There are very few funds to clean them up and stop another disaster like this from happening."
EPA takes blame for Colorado mine waste spill
There are hundreds of thousands of abandoned mines out West. Many hold tens of billions of tons of waste containing arsenic, asbestos, cadmium, cyanide and mercury.
For decades, the dangers of abandoned mines have been well understood, but a mix of political inertia and lack of funds has stymied efforts to clean up the problem.
"This is a problem everyone has known about and we all predicted there would be a catastrophic failure at some point," said Mark Williams, a fellow at the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research at the University of Colorado Boulder."
There is much work to be done, but where does the money come from?
Boney Bills, a resident of Half Moon Bay, on August 15, 2015 at 1:00 pm
This article summarizes the cleanup problems have encountered: Web Link
"The worst of the worst get federal Superfund money for cleanup. The rest are left to the states, private organizations and nonprofit conservation groups to clean up.
They’re also left with the liability. Under the Clean Water Act, anyone altering a water source needs to have a permit. And getting that permit requires assuming
responsibility for water pollution. In many cases, if a nonprofit decides to clean up waste at an abandoned mine, it also could be on the hook for the water quality of the entire watershed – a prohibitively expensive task.
So the waste site sits untouched, and acid continues to drain into nearby water."
U.S. Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., has sought without success to remedy this for more than a decade. Udall and others have tried during every Congress since 2002 to pass legislation to relieve some of that liability. His current good Samaritan bill, as with every previous one, was exiled to committee to wait out the end of the session.
The proposals have failed for various reasons. Mostly, according to Steve Moyer of the water conservation group Trout Unlimited, it’s that no one really cares.
“It’s not a burning priority on anybody’s agenda,” he said.
Boney Bills, a resident of Half Moon Bay, on August 15, 2015 at 1:15 pm