In what could be described as an official Federal agency doing what it does best, the Orwellian-named Environmental Protection Agency in the course of its duties made a well-intentioned but badly planned exploratory excavation at the site of the Gold King Mine. This excavation triggered a release of
|The moment that the EPA folks might have said, "Uh... Oh, no." A small leak begins to seep a new flow after their exploratory excavation. Photo: EPA - Your government in action
55,000 sites. While not all of these sites are going to turn loose a toxic brew of lead and arsenic compounds, they are going to continue to challenge Colorado and the nation with potential spills in the foreseeable future. At this point, reactionary plans at the EPA are just going to anger more and more of the population around the Four Corners with poisoned taps, poisoned livestock, and poisoned crops. One can only assume that tourism is the next thing to go.
The bitter irony is that the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad's original reason for construction by the Rio Grande, to capture revenue by servicing the mines of Silverton, is now threatening its present stock-in-trade, the scenery of the Animas River, for which tourists pay top dollar. Until residents of the San Juan district, the state, and the nation make the decision to fix the problems of the past, they will continue to lose their future. If mines were stabilized and the stained rocks of the Animas were cleaned up and restored, I would wonder if we have enough engines to haul yellow narrow gauge trains filled with tourists up & down the Animas each day. So, San Juan residents, Coloradoans, and Americans, what do you choose: yellow rivers of poisoned water or rivers of yellow revenue trains of tourism?◊