The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), formed in 1970 to protect the environment, caused one of the biggest environmental disasters in modern history. On August 5, an EPA cleanup team, working with heavy machinery, was investigating an entrance to the Gold King Mine in Silverton, Colorado. The EPA crew mistakenly knocked out the plug and toxic orange-colored water poured out into Cement Creek and soon into the Animas River which in turn gushed into the widely-used Colorado River. The EPA reported initially that the mine waste spill was 1 million gallons but days later had to admit that it was over 3 million gallons! The EPA also failed to warn the other states (New Mexico, Arizona, Utah) that would be affected by their catastrophic blunder soon enough.
Millions of people are feeling the effects of the disaster who use the rivers and waterways daily for drinking, agriculture, fishing, swimming, and much more. Millions of animals will also be directly affected. Some of the toxins deposited into the water system include arsenic, iron, lead, mercury, and zinc. Measurements for lead alone were over 10,000 times higher than normal. The entire cost of the cleanup will be in the billions, possibly $100 billion! And that will only be a partial cleanup. Guess who's paying for the massive task of trying to clean up this mess?! Taxpayers! We already have to pay higher prices because of the EPA's regulations, and now this. In trying to protect the environment, the EPA has instead devastated it for years to come and burdened taxpayers even more in the process!