The Environmental Protection Agency was rebuked by a Congressional committee on Tuesday for thwarting the release of documents about the Gold King mine disaster, which spilled fatal chemicals into West’s source of drinking water, a report says.
The EPA withheld pertinent details such as the contractor’s name involved in the deadly spill and other information which the public has the right to know. Rep. Lamar Smith, a Republican from Texas and chairperson of the Committee on House Science, Space and Technology expressed disappointment for EPA’s failure to turn over to the house committee the requested documents.
Gina McCarthy, EPA’s director was asked to make an appearance before the Committee to answer questions concerning EPA’s role on August 5’s “3-million-gallon toxic spill into Colorado’s Animas River.”
Unresponsive, secretive and unsympathetic
“It’s disappointing, but not surprising that the EPA failed to meet the House Science Committee’s reasonable deadline in turning over documents pertaining to the Gold King Mine Spill,” Smith said as quoted by Fox News.
“These documents are essential to the Committee’s ongoing investigation and our upcoming hearing on Sep. 9. But more importantly, this information matters to the many Americans directly affected in western states, who are still waiting for answers from the EPA,” Smith continued.
McCarthy and EPA have been a subject of criticism from different sectors for being “unresponsive, secretive and unsympathetic” to the residents of three states near Animas river.
According to reports, EPA failed to inform Utah, New Mexico and Navajo Nation about the approaching chemical spill. McCarthy did not visit Colorado until a week after and declined visiting the town of Silverton, which is closest to the Gold King mine.