Following the recent discovery that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) knew about the risk of a blowout in the Gold King Mine Spill well in advance, Representative Lamar Smith, the chairman of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee wants to hear testimony directly from the EPA contractor involved with the spill.
On a Monday, August 24 announcement, Smith called for the head of Environmental Restoration LLC to come to the September 9 hearing on the mine spill. He also requested EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy to testify before the same committee.
"Both parties should be prepared to be more forthcoming with Congress than EPA has been up to this point," says Rep. Smith, adding that "Releasing key pieces of information in the dead of night on a Friday is not exactly the model of transparency. The public," he says, "deserves to know why the EPA ignored the contractor's concerns and forged ahead with this project."
The EPA's forewarning was released alongside a cache of documents related to the spill on Friday August 21. The agency knew about the potential for a blowout from the mine as early as June 2014.
The spill, which sent 3 million gallons of toxic sludge careening into local water ways, has had a particularly devastating effect on the local Navajo tribes, who rely on the now contaminated water sources to irrigate their land.
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