Thursday, October 27, 2016 by JD Heyes
If you or I – or any citizen, really – had done what EPA contract workers did to the environment in Colorado recently, we’d not only be facing huge fines that would take a lifetime to repay, we’d also very likely be in court fighting for our freedom.
But of course, our government always makes sure to protect its own, as evidenced by the way the Obama administration has ensured that the president’s heir-apparent, Hillary Clinton, didn’t face prosecution for harming national security and mishandling classified materials.
Now, we find out, the Obama Justice Department isn’t going to prosecute those responsible for the disastrous Gold King Mine toxic spill in August 2015, which dumped more than 3 million tons of toxic chemicals into many tributaries that stretched through three states.
As reported by AMI Newswire, Jeffery Lagda, an EPA spokesman, said the DoJ made its decision to let the contract workers off the hook October 6 after the agency’s Office of Inspector General presented its findings about the spill to U.S. attorneys in Colorado. The OIG investigated whether the EPA worker violated provisions of the Clean Water Act and made false statements to the OIG’s investigators, Lagda said.
The Star added that the OIG did find evidence the worker made false statements and violated the Act.
The spill at the mine, located in southwestern Colorado, released millions of tons of water containing arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury, and contaminated the Animas and San Juan rivers. The pollution spread downstream into parts of Utah and New Mexico.
Three committee heads in the House were incensed over the corrupt Justice Department’s inaction and demanded that members of DoJ appear before them to explain why no charges were filed for obvious violations of EPA regulations.
“By not taking up the case, the Department of Justice looks like it is going easy on its colleagues at the EPA,” Republican Reps. Jason Chaffetz, Rob Bishop and Cynthia Lummis said in their letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch, AMI Newswire reported. “Its lack of action on these charges gives the appearance of hypocrisy and seems to indicate that there is one set of rules for private citizens and another for the federal government.”
The spill left the rivers and tributaries a rusty orange for days until the toxic sediment dispersed.
The House members also noted that in 2013, the U.S. Attorney’s office in Colorado prosecuted a business owner in Longmont for discharging 1,000 gallons of sewage into a ditch that led to a reservoir. In that case, prosecutors alleged a clear violation of the Clean Water Act and the business owner was handed a $10,000 fine.
But of course, he was a private citizen not working for a federal agency.
“The EPA disaster deserves the same level of accountability to which private citizens are held,” said the congressmen, who requested a congressional briefing on the matter no later than October 26.
Of course it does, but in the age of Obama and Clinton, there are now two sets of rules: Those for the elite – meaning there are no rules – and those for the rest of us.