From The Washington Times:
Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said Wednesday she is unaware of anyone being fired, fined or even demoted for the Gold King Mine spill, prompting Republicans to accuse her of taking the EPA off the hook for the toxic blowout.
“So you’re letting the EPA get off scot-free it sounds like. They are not being held accountable,” said Rep. Doug Lamborn, Colorado Republican, at the House Natural Resources Committee hearing.
Republicans took Ms. Jewell to task for the Interior Department’s investigation into the Aug. 5 spill, saying the October report failed to hold anyone responsible for unleashing 3 million gallons of orange, toxic wastewater into the Animas River near Silverton, Colorado.
“You’re directly responsible for this report. The EPA had promised this committee a thorough investigation,” Mr. McClintock said. “We have not gotten one. What we have gotten is a complete, deliberate whitewash.”
Mr. Lamborn asked if anyone had been fired or fined after the spill, to which she replied, “Not that I’m aware of.” Asked if she was aware of anyone being demoted, she referred the question to the EPA.
Asked if she had even yelled at anyone, Ms. Jewell responded, “No, I have not yelled at anybody over this.”
Ms. Jewell defended the Interior investigation, saying it was confined to a technical review of the incident to determine its cause, not to assign blame. The report concluded that the EPA team touched off the spill by removing debris without first testing the water level within the mine.