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Cotton Statement on the EPA's Release of Toxic Wastewater into Colorado's Animas River

August 13, 2015
Washington, D.C.  Washington, D.C.—Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) today released the following statement on the Environmental Protection Agency's accidental release of toxic wastewater into Colorado's Animas River on August 5th:
"I am deeply troubled by the EPA's release of toxic wastewater into the Animas River and even more by their failure to appropriately respond to the situation in the days following the spill.  Their reckless behavior means thousands of landowners, farmers, small businesses, and Native Americans in at least four states will incur terrible losses.
"I fear the EPA has sacrificed its attention to the basic safety measures required to perform its core duties to instead focus on forwarding President Obama's energy agenda through job-killing policies like the 'Clean Power Plan' — a regulatory tidal wave that will have a devastating impact on Arkansas. It's ironic that the EPA caused this problem at a time when they are attempting to take more lands under their jurisdiction via the "Waters of the United States" regulation. This disaster is a further example of EPA's incompetence and proves they are incapable of managing America's environmental future.
"Just last year the EPA helped bring criminal charges and a $15,000 fine against a North Carolina farm owner who accidentally spilled cow dung into the river. They should be held to the same standard. I urge President Obama to ensure the EPA is treated like any private sector business that caused this kind of damage - and if he refuses to do so under current law, I will work with my colleagues to pass legislation that makes it clear the EPA should be held to the same standard as any farmer, rancher, or business owner in Arkansas."