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Cotton Calls on EPA to Pay for Damages from the Animas River Disaster

September 22, 2015

Washington, D.C.- Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) today released the following statement calling on EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy to set aside a portion of the agency's annual funding to pay for damages from the Animas River Disaster:

"The EPA's response to the Animas River disaster reads like an exaggerated Hollywood portrayal of a political cover-up. They underplayed the severity of the spill from the beginning and failed to warn affected states or groups to allow them to better mitigate damages. They even went so far as to deliver contaminated water to the Navajo Nation in filtered oil containers. And it's only gotten worse. They recently released an internal cover-up report that attempted to clear the EPA of any misconduct and made a late-night document dump full of needlessly redacted information.

"Unfortunately, unlike in Hollywood movies, real peoples lives have been devastated by this disaster. The EPA must take responsibility for their negligence and make things right. Administrator McCarthy should immediately begin setting aside funds from the agency's budget to pay damages.

"In the coming days, I will work with my colleagues to introduce legislation that prevents the EPA from hiding behind sovereign immunity and forces them to take responsibility for their victims."