Energy

EPA Says Sovereign Immunity Protects Agency From Paying Big For Gold King Mine Spill

REUTERS/EPA/Handout

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Chris White Tech Reporter

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced Friday that federal law does not require the agency to pay more damages incurred after a massive toxic water spill in Colorado caused by an agency employee.

EPA is not mandated under federal law to repay $1.2 billion to the states affected by the Gold King Mine spill, the Department of Justice (DOJ) supposedly told the agency. The spill caused 3 million gallons of dangerous metals like lead, cadmium and arsenic into the Animas River.

“The circumstances surrounding the Gold King Mine incident unfortunately do not meet the conditions necessary to pay claims,” because the law “does not authorize federal agencies to pay claims resulting from … acts of a governmental nature or function and that involve the exercise of judgment,” EPA said in a statement.

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