The list of federal cover-ups continued today as Watchdog.org reported that the EPA is refusing to release documents to Congress relating to the Gold King Mining disaster, which spilled deadly chemicals into the largest source of drinking water in the West.
“It is disappointing, but not surprising, that the EPA failed to meet the House Science Committee’s reasonable deadline in turning over documents pertaining to the Gold King Mine spill,” said Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX). “These documents are essential to the Committee’s ongoing investigation and our upcoming hearing on Sept. 9. But more importantly, this information matters to the many Americans directly affected in western states, who are still waiting for answers from the EPA.”
Smith – who frequently spars with the EPA – is chairman of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee. EPA director Gina McCarthy has been asked to appear and answer questions about the agency’s role in creating a 3-million-gallon toxic spill into Colorado’s Animas River on Aug. 5. Critics say McCarthy and the EPA have been unresponsive, secretive and unsympathetic toward millions of people who live in three states bordering the river.
For several days, the EPA didn’t notify the states of Utah, New Mexico or the Navajo Nation that the spill was coming their way. McCarthy waited a week before visiting Colorado and even then she refused to tour Silverton, the town nearest the Gold King mine where EPA contractors unleashed the toxic plume into waterways that feed the Colorado River. The agency withheld the name of the contractor working on the project and other details that are generally considered public information. Lastly, the Navajo Nation, which relies on the river for drinking water and farming, received an emergency supply from the EPA in oil-contaminated containers.
We expect cover-ups from high profile celebrities or businessmen. But how can the American people live in peace and security when their own federal government acts like a corrupt CEO caught red-handed?
Fortunately, there is a way to limit the havoc these federal agencies are able to wreak. An Article V Convention of States can propose constitutional amendments that clarify the General Welfare Clause and the Interstate Commerce Clause, enforcing the Founder’s original intention of a limited federal government. Such amendments could significantly shrink the jurisdiction of the EPA and other federal agencies who clearly don’t care about faithfully serving the people they are meant to protect.