Environmental Protection Agency’s enforcement arm told lawmakers no one at the agency would be punished for spilling 3 million gallons of toxic mine waste in Colorado.
Why? Because EPA only released pollution from Gold King Mine into the Animas River, they didn’t create the mine waste.
“Why has nobody in EPA been held liable, been criminally charged?” Alaska Republican Sen. Dan Sullivan pressed Cynthia Giles, the head of EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, in a Wednesday hearing.
“We were acting as a responder,” Giles said, noting federal law distinguished “the company who makes and releases pollution” from “entities that are trying to respond and clean up pollution that other people created.”
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