EARTHblog » Aaron Mintzes
September 10, 2015
Yesterday, the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee held the first of four scheduled Congressional hearings pointing blame at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the Gold King mine disaster. According to media reports, on August 5, EPA contractors attempting to relieve water levels and remove debris from the Gold King mine, accidently sprang a leak releasing 3 million gallons of sulfuric acid laden water in to a tributary of the Animas River near Durango, Colorado. In fact, for years leading up to the August 5 disaster, Gold King continuously released roughly the same amount of acid mine drainage each week. To help alleviate this problem, in 2009, Colorado state regulators used the mine owner’s forfeiture bond to install a flume to divert the discharge. This band aid-like patch served mainly as a temporary “fix” to delay the inevitable. According to EPA’s own internal investigation, a disaster like this was waiting to happen.
August 19, 2015
Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a series of commonsense requirements designed to control the health-harming toxic air emissions from new and modified oil and gas sources. These steps will result in the industry utilizing more of their cost-effective technologies to capture leaks, flares, and other releases from wells, pipelines, and other gas infrastructure that contribute to climate change, increased asthma rates, smog, and other serious health concerns.