EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said at a press conference on the Animas River and about the contamination caused by EPA, “The very good news is that we see that this river is restoring itself. That we see those numbers shifting. That we are working with local communities to make sure that they are looking at the science and making the right decisions on reopening. We will continue to do that as we, long-term, look at the sediment issues. But the major risk issue, relative to this spill, is what’s in that water column and how do I continue to make sure that that water column is beginning to restore itself. We are seeing that happening already. So our challenge is to continue to do what we’ve done with the Animas, the upper Animas’, to just to keep rolling out that data for those segments; working with local communities moving forward.”
The take home message from this is that nature does restore itself when able. The Animas had actual pollution, not a substantial potential to pollute, but actual pollution. EPA has allowed the river to restore itself. The question becomes, if a private citizen had polluted the Animas River, would there be a different spin on this? And if so, what would EPA have required that person to do?