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Committees Request Information from the Department of Interior on EPA’s Animas Spill Ahead of Joint Oversight Hearing

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 4, 2015 -

House Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT), Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), and Vice Chairman of the Committee on Natural Resources Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) sent a letter to Secretary of the Interior (DOI) Sally Jewell, requesting data and documents about the events leading up to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Animas spill and the corresponding response effort in August 2015.

As Chairmen Bishop, Chaffetz and Rep. Lummis stated in the letter to Secretary Jewell:

“Furthermore, at some point after the spill, EPA chose the Department of the Interior to conduct an ‘independent review’ or the disaster. The decision to assign that job to another Executive Branch agency raises concerns that the reviewers are not sufficiently independent, and therefore susceptible to political influence or liable to limit the scope of the review. Moreover, the spill raises serious questions about the steps DOI has taken to protect its natural resource and trust interests."

The Committees requested the information on how “federal agencies responded to and handled the incident, the subsequent cleanup, and the threat of another waste spill in the area” ahead of their joint oversight hearing on the Animas Spill on September 17, 2015.  Read the letter here.

Earlier this week, the Committees sent a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and the Environmental Restoration, LLC, the private contractor involved in the accident, requesting information and emails pertaining to the Gold King Mine project and subsequent spill. Read those letters here and here.

Please click here for more information regarding the hearing.

Contact: Committee Press Office 202-226-9019

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