Tuesday, October 27, 2015

EPA’s Toxic Spill in Colorado Recalls Government Misdeeds in Love Canal Disaster

By Gary M. Galles

In early August, the Environmental Protection Agency spilled three million gallons of toxic wastewater in southern Colorado’s Animas River, creating not only an ecological disaster but also a public relations nightmare for a federal bureau that strives to sell the standard narrative of “good government versus bad private actors.” Unfortunately, too many people have taken that message at face value.   Colorado State Senator Ellen Roberts called the incident “an EPA-caused Love Canal”—a reference to the 1978 disaster in upstate New York that spurred major environmental legislation. Media outlets made similar comparisons, and more than one commentator hailed government as a savior in that earlier tragedy.  But contrary to what those analogies suggest, Love Canal was not a case of the feds coming to the rescue after private-sector misbehavior. It was a disaster traceable to government misdeeds.........it should always remind us that in the realm of natural resources, government too often acts less like a competent environmental sheriff and more like a bumbling Barney Fife.....To Read More.....

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