Senate Continues Hearings into Toxic Mine Spill

September 16, 2015

Inquiries into last month's spill of toxic wastewater into the Animas River in Southwestern Colorado continue on Capitol Hill. 

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee held a hearing Wednesday into the spill at the request of lawmakers from Colorado and New Mexico. 

Republican Senator Cory Gardner testified, asking why the EPA took so long to implement a crisis response plan, and how the agency intends to deal with the consequences:

"From the outset I’ve said that EPA should be held to the same standard as EPA would hold a private company for the spill," Gardner said. "Which means investigations must be conducted, people must be held accountable and tough questions must be asked."

Democratic Senator Michael Bennet also testified, saying it's important to contextualize the spill and take steps to prevent similar incidents.

EPA head Gina McCarthy says the agency has taken responsibility.

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