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Old 08-14-2015, 12:51 AM   #21
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If BP had done this the EPA would be assessing billions in fines and having strokes about environmental doomsday. As it is, they're telling businesses along the river that everything is just fine, they should open this weekend.
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Old 08-14-2015, 11:58 AM   #22
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I hadn't heard much about this other than news report on the radio, when I'am on the boat I don't watch much TV news and have the radio on during the day, it's more or less background noise. I googled for info and found this - Cleaning Up Toxic Yellow Sludge Is Just The Beginning Of EPA's Mine Problems
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/0...n_7985666.html
It is the EPAs problem to clean up these sites and unfortunately use public funds when the corporations or people who created them are long gone. Placing blame on any person, corporations, contractors, or govt agency at this point in time is a fools errand for problems created before any of us were born. But people always want a scapegoat for any problems that befall us and if there are no obvious ones then anyone associated with it are fair game for blame whether right or wrong. I feel very sorry for the people who's lives and property have been impacted by this mess created over 100 years ago and hope the EPA can return the affected streams to as near to normal as possible, until the next disaster strikes.



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Old 08-14-2015, 12:34 PM   #23
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I wonder if the EPA would have revealed anything to the public or acknowledged they caused the spill at all if the discharge hadn't been so visible, turning the river a bright mustard color for miles and miles. Pretty bad when the watchdog needs a watchdog.
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Old 08-14-2015, 12:36 PM   #24
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Old 08-14-2015, 12:38 PM   #25
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Something interesting that is coming out is the EPA is the gorilla in the closet. Major corporate firms with first hand knowledge as to what went wrong are reluctant to publically state where the issues lie for fear of real retribution on the part of EPA. If one is in the resource business biting the hand that governs is not wise.

Perish the notion of a Congressional hearing making headway, too much money in the form of EPA contracts for nationwide stream remediation is in the pipeline. The CO regulators don't want that largesse jeopardized.
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Old 08-14-2015, 12:43 PM   #26
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Something interesting that is coming out is the EPA is the gorilla in the closet. Major corporate firms with first hand knowledge as to what went wrong are reluctant to publically state where the issues lie for fear of real retribution on the part of EPA. If one is in the resource business biting the hand that governs is not wise.

Perish the notion of a Congressional hearing making headway, too much money in the form of EPA contracts for nationwide stream remediation is in the pipeline. The CO regulators don't want that largesse jeopardized.
Right on! This is going to be fun to watch.
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Old 08-14-2015, 02:50 PM   #27
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I wonder if the EPA would have revealed anything to the public or acknowledged they caused the spill at all if the discharge hadn't been so visible, turning the river a bright mustard color for miles and miles. Pretty bad when the watchdog needs a watchdog.
There are plenty of watchdogs within...not everyone who works for the government is a slimeball...

You know how hard it is to actually cover something up for long?...Especially when it is a large object like a river turned color? and not some deep intel or black ops mission....

Wow...
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Old 08-14-2015, 04:55 PM   #28
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I am not necessarily knee-jerk harsh about government, I'm a gov't manager myself and delivering good public service is much, much harder than most people think. I'd agree with you on that. But if I do something stupid or inept or careless in my public role, I expect to pay the consequences proportional to the screw-up, up to and including losing my job. The fact that I'm a public manager myself reduces my patience with this kind of thing even more though. The agency's response is textbook weasel-y. For example, they write announcements in a passive voice so no one is responsible. "while excavating...water began leaking." -- as if the water made a spontaneous decision to start leaking all by itself. (Professor Steve Aufrecht at the University of Alaska in my MPA program taught us to never write in the disembodied, passive voice, it's a weasel-y thing to do, and he was right.) They issue press releases that are tech babble full of qualifiers and arcane terminology, instead of nice clear, declarative sentences that actually explain something to the general public. They write sentences like this:

"However, comparison to risk-based screening values found these exceedances to below risk screening levels."

That doesn't even make grammatical sense, let alone syntactic sense. And meanwhile I have to worry about my Y-valve lockout because I guess that poses a higher risk than arsenic and cadmium and thallium.
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Old 08-14-2015, 05:03 PM   #29
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A LOT depends on just how accountable you really are.

If given bad advice...you really want to be accountable?

Don't pay much attention to press releases..they can have varied motives...I wait for official investigations then the followup watchdog investigations.

I like everyone else I have ever known has made mistakes...it is why and what was done to fix them that ultimately was important....the higher up you are...the bigger the consequences sometimes...not necessarily the screwup.

Up to and including losing your job.? In my former job it was up to and including Leavenworth.
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Old 08-14-2015, 05:49 PM   #30
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They issue press releases that are tech babble full of qualifiers and arcane terminology, instead of nice clear, declarative sentences that actually explain something to the general public. They write sentences like this:

"However, comparison to risk-based screening values found these exceedances to below risk screening levels."

That doesn't even make grammatical sense, let alone syntactic sense. And meanwhile I have to worry about my Y-valve lockout because I guess that poses a higher risk than arsenic and cadmium and thallium.
You work for the guvmutt and don't know guvmuttese???
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Old 08-14-2015, 08:45 PM   #31
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We continue to see Black Hawk helicopters and river sleds going up and down the river. Friends are telling me representatives of the EPA are coming to their homes asking them how much money it will take to sign a piece of paper so they will not sue. Off course they are refusing to sign to see what happens to the water wells 25ft from the Animas River. They have been approached several times. Hmmm. I'm not normally a paranoid individual but approaching the citizens living next to the river to sign a piece of paper indicating they will not sue I find interesting. One of my closest friends has drilled more wells in the area then the rest combined and he suggests it may be 6-12 months before any residue from the sludge shows up in their well. EPA is indicating the water well receives water from another source besides the river. Really? This I find humorous being that the well is 25ft from the river and is primarily sand and gravel. Come on EPA. Maybe you need to turn your interest back to shutting down coal mines, adding crap to my diesel engine, and let the river take care of itself.
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Old 08-14-2015, 09:41 PM   #32
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WOW! THIS LETTER FROM JULY 30TH PREDICTS OBAMA'S TOXIC SPILL INTO RIVER BY EPA TO SECURE SUPERFUND MONEY ยป 100percentfedUp.com
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Old 08-14-2015, 10:10 PM   #33
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Domestic supply wells near the river should have been sampled by now. Test for "Cam 17 metals".

This late in the season, and I'm just taking an educated guess, the river is "gaining" which means that groundwater adjacent to it flows into the river. Late winter and spring will create a "losing" river condition which means that water will flow from the river and into adjacent underground zones which could include your friend's well. Therefore, folks should be concerned more with their water quality during late winter and spring during runoff. Good luck!
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Old 08-14-2015, 10:12 PM   #34
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You're spot on Giggitoni!
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Old 08-14-2015, 10:26 PM   #35
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Like to hear from a well driller or water MA agent specialist...but my understanding is surface water does not necessarily have a lot to do with stratified aquifers.

Otherwise many wells drilled near the ocean would all be salt water.

Sure there is salt infiltration..but usuallybonly in areas where the deman outpaced the aquifer for some time.

Again..no expert here..would like to hear from one though.
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Old 08-14-2015, 11:16 PM   #36
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You're spot on Giggitoni!

For good reason. If my employer experiences an environmental mishap that requires professional mitigation I have his phone number in my Rolodex.
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Old 08-14-2015, 11:37 PM   #37
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Like to hear from a well driller or water MA agent specialist...but my understanding is surface water does not necessarily have a lot to do with stratified aquifers.

Otherwise many wells drilled near the ocean would all be salt water.

Sure there is salt infiltration..but usuallybonly in areas where the deman outpaced the aquifer for some time.

Again..no expert here..would like to hear from one though.

I'm a hydrogeologist.
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Old 08-15-2015, 12:58 AM   #38
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I'm certainly no expert but I assisted drilling many wells putting myself through college along the Animas river. Depending upon where you are in the Animas Valley the bedrock was 20 ft. to an undetermined depth because no one has drilled to a depth to hit bedrock north of Durango. The sand had to be blown with a air compressor while the steel casing essentially fell through the sand. The higher up the valley the shallower the sand. Many wells were drilled very close to the river for commercial and domestic use expecting to draw water from the river. The state requires a well to be cemented to seal off surface water. Not sure the water came from up stream or close to the well. I can tell you the EPA is testing all wells close to the river. I have daily discussions with the gentlemen that I worked for that is considered the "expert" in drilling wells in the Animas Valley for over 40 years. He said 100% of the water in the Animas Valley comes from the Animas river. On occasion a well was drilled and a test well was required to be drilled 50ft away. The test well would be pumped drawing the water level down in the other well next to the river. It would appear the water came directly from the river.
I apologize if I come across defensive. Everyone is pissed at the EPA for their blunder and many locals are beginning to support the geologist letter to the editor in the Silverton newspaper suggesting EPA would intentionally do something to prevent further mining. Regardless it is pretty remarkable the retired geologist would have the foresight to predict the catastrophic event a week before it occurred while living in his second home in Silverton.
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Old 08-15-2015, 04:01 AM   #39
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In any "public well system" serving over 15 connections there should already be a historical base line for over 273 known toxins and chemicals from that source water well. Wells are by nature create what one may refer to as a cone of influence. While no geo. formation is perfect if you would imagine one where all materials drilled through were of the same material the well would draw water in a cone shape with the bottom of the well being the bottom of the cone. The volume of the well along with the differences in material all serve to distort this perfect cone. Yes, it takes time for the toxins to pass through the materials and some are by nature filtered out below the levels of the river. Surface water directly influencing a well is possible especially if the grouting is old or was never installed (usually not a requirement on personal wells).
These toxins and especially heavy metals are naturally occurring and you can find them just about anywhere but in the quantities associated with this disaster they will be with us for a very very long time.
One of the earliest "gold rushes" in the U.S. was here in N. Ga. About 200 years ago and it is still effecting the water quality on some of our streams and wells. A small community located on Bean Creek in White County Ga. all on private wells was studied to determine the cause of high cancer and death rates in that community. Mining by-products from 200 years ago was found to be the culprit. I was able to supply and install a new distribution system in that community and they are now served by the county water system. There will be no easy cure for this contamination.
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Old 08-15-2015, 06:49 AM   #40
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OK now....experts in...ps out!
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