February 18, 2016
Yesterday evening, House Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) issued subpoenas to the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) for documents related to the USACE’s peer review of DOI’s Technical Evaluation of the August 2015 Gold King Mine spill.
Republicans and Democrats on the Committee have raised numerous concerns about DOI’s Technical Evaluation. The USACE peer review of the DOI Technical Evaluation could shed light on these concerns. At the Committee’s December 9, 2015, oversight hearing, DOI Secretary Sally Jewell rebuffed bipartisan requests for the release of this information.
As part of its ongoing investigation of the spill and DOI’s subsequent report, on December 10, 2015, the Committee sent a letter directly to USACE requesting the full peer review documents. DOI interfered with the Committee’s request and blocked USACE from releasing the information USACE had identified as responsive to the Committee’s request.
USACE held serious reservations about the scope and veracity of DOI’s report, though the full nature of these concerns remain unclear due to DOI’s efforts to redact and withhold documents.
“The Department of the Interior has been actively working to withhold information from the Committee that members on both sides of the aisle are seeking. It’s time to come clean. The credibility of the DOI's Technical Evaluation is collapsing,” stated Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT).
"You would think the self-proclaimed 'most transparent' administration would have no qualms about providing pertinent documents to shine light onto the cause of this catastrophic spill, but we continue to have to fight this administration tooth and nail to get to the bottom of this disaster. This is not acceptable,” stated Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Chairman, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.
Click here and here to view the subpoenas.