Former President Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency officials failed to acknowledge that rivers in Utah, Colorado and New Mexico were contaminated with sludge and heavy metals. from an old gold mine.
The spill happened in 2015 and affected the Navajo Nation so they filed a claim with the EPA for $162 million. The spill polluted ground water, wastewater as well as underwater reservoirs.
“The EPA-led crew was using heavy equipment to excavate the mine opening in preparation for a possible cleanup when a worker breached a debris pile that was holding back wastewater in the shaft. The water flowed into Cement Creek and then the Animas River in Colorado. The Animas joins the San Juan River in New Mexico before the San Juan crosses into Utah.”
The EPA knew this happened, but did nothing to help clean it up. The Obama administration officials just ignored it and claimed they could not pay that money due to federal tort claim laws.
Utah is wanting $1.9 billion in damages. This would be the largest tort claim in history. Utah is asking for repayment of crops, animals, income and other consequences from the contamination.