From The Washington Times:
New Mexico announced Thursday that it plans to sue the Environmental Protection Agency over last year’s massive mine spill that sent toxic orange sludge into the Animas and San Juan rivers.
“From the very beginning, the EPA failed to hold itself accountable in the same way that it would a private business,” said New Mexico Environment Department Cabinet Secretary Ryan Flynn in a statement. “The EPA caused an unprecedented disaster that may affect our state for years to come; they must take responsibility.”
Mr. Flynn faulted the EPA for being insufficiently responsive after the Aug. 5 accident, in which an agency-led crew accidentally uncorked three million gallons of wastewater from the inactive Gold King Mine near Silverton, Colorado.
“Because EPA headquarters continues to shirk their duties for meaningful support and collaboration, we have no choice but to turn to the justice system to hold EPA accountable to New Mexicans,” Mr. Flynn said.
New Mexico becomes the first state to announce its intention to pursue legal action against the EPA. Colorado and Utah were also affected by the spill, which sent arsenic, lead and other contaminants into water supplies used for homes and agriculture.
Mr. Flynn said his department has filed a notice of intent to sue the EPA as well as the state of Colorado and the owners of the state’s Gold King and Sunnyside mines.