A few weeks ago, the EPA caused the largest toxic waste spill in US history.
By the numbers: The massive toll of the Animas River spill
By Ben Brumfield, CNN
Updated 12:57 PM ET, Thu August 13, 2015
The number of gallons of heavy metal filled wastewater the U.S. Geological Survey says spilled into the Animas River. That’s about 60,000 bathtubs full.
The bright discoloration was an obvious flag that something was awry in the river. But the EPA was sluggish with information in the aftermath, as residents worried about possible damage to their health, and businesses on the river shut down.
12,000 That’s how many times higher than normal the level of lead was in one water sample tested from the Animas River shortly after the spill.
Lead poisoning is tricky, because at low levels, it can be hard to detect. It can slow down child development and cause learning disabilities, the Mayo Clinic says.
Lead is just one of the many heavy metals released, and it’s not the deadliest. The wastewater also contained extremely high levels of arsenic, cadmium, beryllium and mercury. It also contained zinc, iron and copper.
So how did EPA respond to their own spectacular incompetence? By suing Volkswagen for using software that increases gas mileage.
Disabling the emissions controls brought major advantages, including much better mileage — a big selling point in Volkswagen’s push to dominate in America.
Volkswagen shares declined about 34 percent last week, and the company faces penalties of as much as $18 billion from the Environmental Protection Agency.