EPA Insiders Knew 'Blowout' Risk of Contaminated Water Inside Mine, Did Nothing

Documents reveal repeated acknowledgement of the potential disaster

The Environmental Protection Agency now admits that it was fully aware of the impending disaster of millions of gallons of heavy metal-laden water being released and polluting multiple river systems in Colorado as happened in early August.

Internal documents released Friday after mounting media pressure for answers revealed that the agency knew of this potential as far back as 2014. In a work order from that year for a proposed cleanup, the text reads:

This condition has likely caused impounding of water behind the collapse. ln addition, other collapses within the workings may have occurred creating additional water impounding conditions. Conditions may exist that could result in a blowout of the blockages and cause a release of large volumes of contaminated mine waters and sediment from inside the mine, which contain concentrated heavy metals.

A newer document dated May 2015 warns of the same risk. The Associated Press notes that these documents do not include any details of what happened immediately before or after the spill, and much of the text has been redacted by the EPA. One specific item that is blacked out is a 2013 safety plan which discussed Gold King mine workers having working cell phones at the remote site in the higher elevations.

According to the AP, at least three investigations are currently underway. The EPA is on the defensive saying its water testing shows that contamination levels are back to what they were before the spill. But that is offering little comfort to those communities affected by the tainted water or experts who are warning that the toxins have penetrated the sediments and will just be kicked back up and mixed in at another time. It is also noted that the EPA has been slow to respond to the media's questions if they respond at all.

As Truth Revolt previously reported, a retired geologist living in the area predicted the spill a week before it happened. In a letter to an editor of a local paper, the man suggested that the EPA was going to allow the spill as a way to procure more federal funding.

And at the very least, these EPA documents confirm they knew it was going to happen, too.