Orange Is the Color of the Animas River’s Soul

Gold_King_Mine_Spill_Emergency_Retaining_Ponds - Copy

Hurriedly constructed retention ponds, built in an attempt to contain and treat the water spilling from the Gold King Mine.

Orange appears to be a recurring theme for us lately.

Over a week ago (!), the EPA (technically, one of their contractors) turned the Animas River in Colorado a putrid curry orange, when they spilled into the river a tremendous amount of contaminated waste water from a defunct mine. This “accident” happened while the EPA was allegedly trying to prevent a spill and “clean up” a mine that’s been inactive for over 90 years. Their bone-headed blunder is raising many questions in the blogosphere.

Heck of a job, Barry!!!

With “protection” like Barry Obama’s EPA gave to Colorado’s environment, who needs evil capitalist polluters?

Where are you, anyway, Barry? Will you take responsibility for your very own “Hurricane Katrina”? Oh, yeah. Nearly forgot: you’re golfing on Martha’s Vineyard. As usual.

How long before somebody’s head rolls for this misjudgement, which a retired geologist publicly warned about over a week before?

Common sense tells any reasonable being that if you deliberately plug some outlets and allow water to build up in tunnels of interconnected mines on the same mountain, or deliberately raise the water table on that very same mountain, then something’s gonna give somewhere, somehow.

One question many have is why this story has been flying below the radar for over a week? My own local paper didn’t report on the spill until a week later, when they finally picked up this story that, in a backhanded way, blames the locals and the mining companies for the spill, even though the spill was caused by the EPA’s blundering!  In typical JournoList fashion, the mainstream media must have been waiting for Obama’s excuses to be invented so they could be dutifully repeated ad nauseum.

Local authorities and mining companies, the “journalists” argue, resisted having the area named a Superfund Site because they feared “stigma”, which would cause a loss of tourism dollars and/or an end to any further mining. Then that old bugaboo was trotted out: these local folks simply “haven’t trusted the federal government.” Imagine that. They must be bitter clingers, too.

Some writers, however, have suggested that perhaps this accident wasn’t very accidental.  They wonder whether or not the EPA deliberately caused the spill in order to force the issue, to get access to more federal “emergency” monies, to build a huge treatment plant, to hire thousands of workers, and to increase regulation and put more land off limits to mining. Sounds like a plan! A plan typical of the Obama administration, so don’t rule it out, out of hand.

Also typical of the Obama administration was the “agreement of sorts” made between the EPA and the locals and the mining companies, wherein the government would apparently behave as if this were a Superfund site without, however, actually labeling it as one. This deal somehow allowed the EPA to cough up 1.5 million of taxpayer dollars to clean up what nobody else wanted to pay to clean up. Sounds like another Obama administration end run around laws duly passed by Congress.

Interestingly enough, the EPA knew that their solution to this toxic solution might cause problems elsewhere:

At the Red and Bonita Mine, where polluted water is pouring out at 500 gallons per minute, Environmental Protection Agency workers would like to put a stop to the flow by September, said Steven Way, on-scene coordinator for the agency. …

The $1.5 million construction project is set to start in mid-July, and it will require workers to muck out nontoxic mineral deposits from the floor of the mine before installing a concrete bulkhead. It is not a Superfund project, but the EPA plans to pay for it, Way said. [Via what accounting gimmick, the story does not explain.] 

The EPA understands that this new bulkhead could have the same effect as the American Tunnel bulkheads and cause water to drain from other mines. As a result, the agency plans to monitor the Gold King number 7 level and the Mogul because they are both nearby, Way said. …

“This, in a way, is as much an experiment as the American Tunnel,” said Steve Fearn, co-coordinator of the Animas River Stakeholders Group.

A 1.5 million dollar failed experiment that will now cost who knows how many more taxpayer dollars to fix? As I said,

Heck of a job, Barry!!!

The president of the Navajo Nation says the EPA lied to him about the seriousness of the spill and now he questions everything they tell him. Join the club! Two thirds of the Animas River flows through the Navajo Nation, affecting all their people.

Residents throughout the affected area were kept in the dark about the spill for 24 hours. Why? The people might have taken steps to protect themselves and their livestock in the meantime. One can only wonder what kind of discussions were taking place in the bowels of the White House, as they formulated their excuses and chose the lucky scapegoats.

Where did the money come from to pay this contractor? Not yet explained, although supposedly Congressional investigations will take place.

What effect did Barry’s campaign to put coal companies out of business have on the lack of money for mining cleanup?

It wasn’t until the federal Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act passed in 1977 that mining operators had to create a plan for cleaning up defunct mines.

That act established funding for states to clean up long-abandoned mines, like the Gold King (which closed in the 1920s). But funds, drawn from taxes on coal-mining companies, are limited.

Just another of the unforeseen consequences of deliberately putting coal companies out of business–they won’t be paying taxes anymore.

Back in February, Democrat Representative Raul Grijalva introduced a bill, the Hardrock Mining Reform and Reclamation Act, which would

-Establish an 8 percent royalty on new mines and a 4 percent royalty on existing mines to bring a fair return to American taxpayers.

-Use those royalties and money raised by newly established pollution fees to clean up abandoned hard-rock mine lands across the country.

-End the antiquated patenting system that allows companies to purchase mineral-containing public land for as little as $2.50 per acre.

-Establish strong reclamation standards and bonding requirements to make sure taxpayers don’t pay for cleanups if a company skips town or goes bankrupt.

-Provide clear authority to federal land managers to reject a proposed mine if it would unduly degrade public lands or resources.

Protect wilderness study areas, roadless areas, and wild and scenic rivers from mining.

-Empower state, local, and tribal governments to petition federal authorities to withdraw certain areas from mining to protect drinking water, wildlife habitat, cultural and historic resources, or other important values.

What a convenient “wakeup call” this “accident” provides to further Rep. Grijalva’s quest to give the federal government, in the form of unelected bureaucrats, more control over “public lands”. Wait for Obama to argue that if the bill hadn’t been stalled in Congress, then this spill would never have happened.

More questions:

What was the contractor’s name and is the contractor exempt from prosecution or lawsuits? The contractor whose employees caused the spill is now identified as Environmental Restoration LLC (aka, ER. Note: a limited liability corporation). The contractor refers to a privacy clause in its contract that keeps them from commenting, but they issued a statement, found at this link. Apparently, the company has done a lot of work for the government:

ER has gotten $381 million in government contracts since October 2007, according to a WSJ review of data from About $364 million of that funding came from the EPA, but only $37 million was given to ER for work they had done in Colorado.

A million here, a million there. All the money extracted from the wallets of We the People is fungible. One must wonder what “branch” of the  EPA paid for this “experiment”.

Why was the incident initially downplayed? Earlier reports claimed that the spill consisted of a million gallons of toxic waste, but that grew to an (admitted to) three million gallons.

Suddenly and apparently miraculously, however, things are looking up, after having been very “dire” early on.

The situation seems much less dire now, according to recent tests of the river. Local drinking water is safe, but the intake valves from the river have been shut off. The state Parks and Wildlife Department reports no dead fish have been spotted along the water. Larry Wolk, Colorado’s top health official, told CNN Tuesday that early tests show that the water near Durango, the Colorado city where the spill originated, “doesn’t appear” to pose a health risk, but didn’t specify to whom—humans, wildlife, local ecosystems, or all three.


Compare to this early article that discussed the potential effects:

And our river will continue to look like crap for a while. Even once the color becomes less sickening looking, the toxic heavy metals will remain. No fish will be left. Plant life will be decimated. This water is the secondary drinking water source for Durango, CO. A few more miles downstream, it is the primary drinking water source for Aztec & Farmington, New Mexico. It will eventually work its way to Lake Powell…

Nothing will bring the fish back any time soon. All human activity has been banned from the river–and our Sheriff has applied the force of Law, making it illegal to enter the river. Rafting companies are out of business. Fishing guides are out of business. Ranchers who water their livestock have been advised to secure their animals away from the water. Officials have advised that the water will kill your small pet. No swimming, floating, fishing allowed. And the river is used for irrigation by ranchers for their hay to feed their livestock over the Winter–or rather, it used to be. Grasses suck up that toxic slop, making it unsafe for critters to eat.

It seems that as soon as the story began to get legs in the mainstream media and  attention in the blogosphere and from some presidential candidates, the problem was solved.

The EPA accepted responsibility and apologized. The river is clear again, as if that means anything. Little fishies (all but one) survived immersion in the sludge. Bugs are still swimming around. (Keep in mind that these are probably native creatures that are quite well adapted to that environment, which is awash in heavy metals.  Indeed, if it weren’t, there wouldn’t be mines there in the first place.)

Even the Democrat governor of Colorado was photographed drinking water (allegedly) right out of the river. What a guy! Hopefully, it won’t kill him, but it will, alas, “kill your small pet.” Or will it?

Nothing to see here, folks. MOVE ON.

We hear the typical rationalizations and excuses that follow any disaster that happens on Obama’s watch.

For example, if the locals would have allowed the declaration of a Superfund Site, this wouldn’t have happened. (So it’s their fault. But it also begs the question: Under Superfund, would the contractor have behaved differently?)

Another excuse: The earth holding back the wall of sludge would have failed sooner or later, so it’s not the fault of the EPA’s contractor (even though the EPA plugged the other mines, causing tunnels in connected mines to fill with water and raising the water table, causing even unconnected mines to fill with water, raising the water pressure on the earth holding back the sludge, causing … the “accident”.)

This “accident” seems more than a little too convenient, considering Grijalva’s bill (supported by Obama), the controversial rules changes to the Clean Water Act, the expressed desire of some presidential candidates to eliminate the EPA altogether, the EPA’s push to make the Silverton/Durango area a Superfund Site, and Obama’s campaign against mining of all sorts (including coal, as well as uranium).

One thing is certain: Be assured that We the Taxpayers will foot the bills for all of this. All of it.

And that also serves Obama’s goals quite well. It’s all good.

All good, according to Cloward and Piven.


More links: This story explains how they’re emergency-treating the water, as illustrated in the photo at the top of the post.

This link goes to a slide show of photos of the disaster.


134 responses to “Orange Is the Color of the Animas River’s Soul

  1. Rosemary Woodhouse

    I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if it eventually turns red. Just sayin’

  2. Rosemary Woodhouse

    Post his logo again, please.

    You know, one thing is the man KEEPS his word. Fundamental transformation. Siding with the muslims. Rivers of red under a setting sun. Yeah, it’s all good. Insert GWB quote. 😉

    • Did you hear that MSNBC is going allegedly fair and balanced? Doing away with a lot of their partisan shows (except for Morning Joe) and going to straight news? Yeah, right. About as straight as NBC news is. HA! They said tonight on their evening news that GORE might be drafted to replace Hillary. HILL-ARIOUS. The return of Algore. Hee haw!

      • If that’s all they’ve got to offer is Mr. progressor professor,blowin smoke,global swarmin Goroishly boring, Al the hermaphrodite neandrathal….OMG! This is sad. I think we’re due a BLOoDY civil war!!!!!!! We’ve got a liar, a socialista old hippie, a pseudo fake indian and foghorn leghorn for the democrats to gloat over and we’re worried about trump and some foreign half citizens in the republican camp. Why wast anymore time…’s time for a bloody new regime change. Is this how we get a global Kardashian/Metro/Global candidate president. Its so sad. WHat’s the world coming to? I would run my dog if I still had one. He’s definitely got loyalty to a decent human being.

        • I would vote for your dog, for certain, over any of these clowns being suggested by the DemoncRATS and some of those being suggested by the RINOs. I almost choked on my dinner when I heard Lester Holt mention Algore as a potential candidate. In keeping with the theme of this post, I wondered if it’s even possible that they knew, somehow, that Algore might be called upon and so staged an environmental disaster in the beloved-by-environmentalists West, so that Algore could gin up his support amongst the undereducated (but think they know everything) young college stoonts all over the country.

  3. CrimsonSpectre 13 minutes ago
    If there’s a mic these days, Trump is speaking on it. The safety measure the DNC needs sure does get a lot of play lol!
    Jerry Bierman 23 minutes ago
    Twisted meaning explanation. Hypothetically he was saying. Hyperbole at best from the interviewer.

    AdellAstare 19 minutes ago
    So excellent to hear a smart, savvy businessman talk about events that politically correct political writers (a contradiction in terms) pussyfoot around, lie about or totally ignore.

  4. let’s play UNCLE ??? interesting …

  5. Hillary’s IT Company did not have Security Clearance to handle Classified materials !!!!

  6. ~ numag

    Since when does Hillary Clinton represent all women? She is an elitist. She does what elitists do.

    ~ Call it like I see it

    Clinton has one 2 HUGE problems.
    #1. She couldn’t tell the truth if her life depended on it;
    #2. As Sec. of State she failed to protect the Country (knowingly) solely TO PROTECT HERSELF at OUR EXPENSE by using an Unsecured server .

    She is Unqualified to Lead this Nation !!! Period…..

  7. The HILL’s TEAM …. is getting NERVOUS … I sure “HOPE”…
    They GET a RALLY BIG CELL & THROW them ALL IN!!!

    & now about the USURPER …. SPILL THE BEANS PLEASE!!!

  8. The LIST is GROWING ….86-87-88 ??? FOOLISH WOMEN
    she more than BUMPED her HEAD … 2 many DRINKS ALSO!

  9. State Dept. confirms Clinton aides had additional unreported private email accounts on which they conducted gov. business !!!!

    • How far are they going to let this go and for how long will it continue? It’s freaking ridiculous. Petraeus is toast. What’s the diff? There is a woman in IL who just lost her job for using a private email account for government business, because she evaded the state and local “sunshine” and records laws.

      “As Hillary Clinton has learned the hard way, using your personal email account when doing government work doesn’t make the content of those emails exempt from public records laws. The University of Illinois system announced its own email scandal Friday afternoon, admitting that some senior officials—whom it did not name—used private email accounts for official business and failed to turn over some of those email records in response to public records requests, as required.

      While the university did not name the “certain administrative personnel” who didn’t turn over their private email records, there is at least circumstantial evidence indicating that Phyllis M. Wise, chancellor of the flagship campus at Urbana-Champaign, is among them. Many of the email records that were now released were either from or to the chancellor. And the announcement of the email violations came a day after Wise announced that she would be quitting her position as of next week. …”

      How much MORE SERIOUS is a Secretary of State who uses private email than a college chancellor?

      btw, I wrote about this Ms. Wise and an alleged cases of censorship against an allegedly anti-Semitic guy named Salaita and the difference between how the libs defend him while not similarly going to bat for the free speech rights of cops. Another btw, the school teacher that was suspended for Tweeting a criticism of the a-holes blocking the highway in Ferguson is back on the job.

      • As for Hillary, IS SHE STUPID OR SOMETHING? She’s doing Secretary of State work on private email accounts, even some that AREN’T on her own private server but on commercial servers? THIS ALONE DISQUALIFIES HER FOR THE JOB OF PRESIDENT. She’s too stupid to be trusted with the nation’s business. Besides which, these are crimes! As I said yesterday, though, Hillary has learned from Lerner: What is wiped and unrecoverable lets you off because, like the blue dress until it showed up, there’s no EVIDENCE of her crimes. Or so she thinks.

        The judge should subpoena the emails from any commercial server that Hillary used. In addition, she should be charged with deliberate destruction of records. She KNEW that server contained public records that court cases were seeking and still she handed it off to that company so it would be professionally wiped clean.

        That’s IF we believe Obama’s FBI. Is it really “clean” or are they just saying so or are they, even as I write, making it so? We know for a fact that the IRS saw to it that those backup tapes in VA were DELIBERATELY WIPED or destroyed AFTER they were under subpoena. Another crime that will go unanswered for, because of Lynch’s DOJ.

  10. Another great article, Miri!

    Yep, I’m here. Just another computer blow up. Wonder why that is?

    • Glad to hear from you whenever you can weigh in. VERY ODD that you had another computer blow up. Hope your computer gets well soon. Be careful out there!

  11. Trump is giving the kids, A ride on his Helicopter. 😀

  12. My gosh, I love these ladies. Hilarious. Watch for the doughnuts! Too funny.

  13. This is very interesting. Will anybody collect the $25,000 reward by proving that Sandy Hook was REAL? Reminds me of the uncollected reward for proof that Barry has a real BC.

    • She gets around. Did you see what the occasion was? VERNON JORDAN’S 80th birthday. ValJar’s grand-uncle Vernon Jordan. How much they ALL owe him. This is interesting. Did you ever hear about that murder attempt?

      “On May 29, 1980, Jordan was shot and seriously wounded outside the Marriott Inn in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He was accompanied by Martha Coleman at the time. Police thought initially that it might have been a domestic incident related to Coleman’s life.[6] Then-president Jimmy Carter visited Jordan while he was recovering, an event that became the first story covered by the new network CNN.[7] Joseph Paul Franklin was acquitted in 1982 of charges of attempted murder. However, in 1996, after having been convicted of murder in another case, Franklin admitted to having committed the shooting.”

  14. I SMELL A ……. > R . A . T . <

  15. ~ BLACK ….is BEAUTIFUL …. X’S 2 …. ha .. STUMP 4 TRUMP’

  16. ~ WeBeSisters ~On The Stump For Trump
    Welcome ~ About

    WeBeSisters is the creation of biological sisters “Diamond” & “Silk”.
    We are Democrats who want to see America be great again and that’s
    why we be on the stump for Trump. Before you go asking the nonsense question, let us give you the straight up answer… NO, we are not paid by Mr. Trump or anyone connected to his campaign!

    To see our youtube videos, click here.
    To like us on Facebook go here.
    For media inquires please submit the form on the right.
    Someone will contact you. Thanks! …. U GO GIRLS!!!

  17. ~ CharlieSeattle Boss of Wall Street • 10 hours ago ^^^
    Ok, so Trump gets elected, but what if all the RINO’s up for reelection are elected again? …Not …good.

    People, we are definitely outnumbered. Trump will need a lot of help from all the patriotic voters in EVERY state to weed out the RINO’s and Demoncrats and replace them with Patriots. It will take 3 or 4 maybe 6 Congressional and 2 senate election cycles to clean house.

    5 members of the SCOTUS need to be impeached. The B S Citizens United must be overturned ASAP! Corporations are NOT citizens, but thanks to the SCOTUS they have corrupted the election process almost beyond repair!

    Every one the Obama MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD and SOCIALIST leaning administration ministers must be replaced ASAP.

    ICE must be allowed to round up and deport every single illegal alien and muslim Obama and Reagan let it.

    The H-1B visa program must be eliminated and all here sent home.

    Anyone still employing them afterwards must be fined and jailed.

    Trump will need three maybe 4 terms to accomplish this. He only gets 2.

  18. ~ Marcus says: ~ August 15, 2015, 1:57 pm

    Barry Obama absolutely has his hand on the justice drip lever re the Hillary

    server. He’s happily torturing her as time progresses. That’s how he rolls.

  19. ~ Kyle4318 • an hour ago
    If Trump will Just commit to Opening an investigation on Hillary, Holder, and Obama; for all the lawless, scheming, lying corruption, and treason, he will have my vote. the GOP insiders cannot make that commitment, as they are just as dirty, the people in
    congress cannot push this, they sat there and let it happen, Trump, is the only
    one that can play this trump card.

    • It would be interesting if he did that. However, some of the “moderates” who might vote for him beforehand might change their minds because they’re so guilt-tripped and worried about the “first black president” or being labeled racists, even in their own minds.

    • Rosemary Woodhouse


  20. This is what it’s come to. Farrakhan supposedly has the First Amendment right to recruit 10,000 men to attack white people BUT a cop who got overtime working the “protests” in Ferguson is UNDER INVESTIGATION for posting on Facebook that he used the extra money to take his wife on a fun weekend at a B&B!!!! No kidding. It’s true. What was his “crime”? He called it his “annual Michael Brown bonus,” and so he MUST BE PUNISHED!!!

    btw, he’s cute and one must wonder if he’s related to the actor Scott Bakula, who also is from St. Louis.

  21. More censorship of free speech that some don’t agree with. You Tube took down a feed that documented black on white crime:

    No explanation for WHY they censored this (other than the obvious).

  22. More on Shreiff Joe. He lost but he’s going to appeal:

    “The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled unanimously Friday that controversial Arizona sheriff Joseph Arpaio did not have any standing to sue the Obama administration over immigration policy. …”

    Well, of course he lost in the DC COURT OF APPEALS. Does anybody think that court is fair?

  23. ~ Richard LaFontaine · ~ Caseville High School ^^^
    Michael Gomez ‘IMMIGRANTS, NOT AMERICANS, MUST ADAPT… Take It Or Leave It. I am tired of this nation worrying about whether we are offending some individual or their culture. we have experienced a surge in patriotism by the majority of Americans.’

    ‘This culture has been developed over two centuries of struggles, trials and victories by millions of men and women who have sought and fought for freedom.’

    ‘We speak mainly ENGLISH, not Spanish, Lebanese, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, or any other language. Therefore, if you wish to become part of our society, learn the language!’

    ‘Most Americans believe in God. This is not some Christian, right wing, political push, but a fact, because Christian men and women, on Christian principles, founded this nation, and this is clearly documented. It is certainly appropriate to display it on the walls of our schools. If God offends you, then I suggest you consider another part of the world as your new home, because God is part of our culture.’

    ‘We will accept your beliefs, and will not question why. All we ask is that you accept ours, and live in harmony and peaceful enjoyment with us.’

    ‘This is OUR COUNTRY, OUR LAND, and OUR LIFESTYLE, and we will allow you every opportunity to enjoy all this. But once you are done complaining, whining, and griping about Our Flag, Our Pledge, Our Christian beliefs, or Our Way of Life, I highly encourage you take advantage of one other great American freedom, ‘THE RIGHT TO LEAVE’.’

    ‘If you aren’t happy here then LEAVE. We didn’t force you to come here. You asked to be here. So accept the country YOU accepted.’

    Dealing with your kind of stupidity is a real challenge.

    • Looks lke its total bullbuckies. But here’s the thing: who would be surprised if it were true? Personally, I wouldn’t be shocked.

  24. BECK !!! Suggests ? …ha TRUMP SUPPORTERS R 2 DUMB…
    2 KNOW … “BETTER” …. O’ LIKE VOTING …4 … a STINK-IN’….
    BECK & company think they KNOW ALL!! as he goes SOUTH again

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