Wednesday, November 25, 2015


Government agencies need to be held accountable

Generated by IJG JPEG Library

The contaminants spilled into the river by EPA agents reportedly contained “metals pollution.” | Photo courtesy of getty images


Last month, the EPA spilled an estimated 3 million gallons of toxic waste into the Animus River near Durango, Colorado. The spill allegedly came from employees improperly disposing of the waste water inside of an old abandoned mine.

To make matters worse, a couple of congressional representatives from Utah said that the EPA knew up to a year prior that a spill was a real possibility.

However, because this wasn’t a huge environmental crisis caused by some big corporation, you won’t hear it covered in much detail by mainstream news outlets.

What’s even worse is the EPA did not notify anyone until a full day after the spill about what happened.

This may not seem like a big deal, but it caused more trouble than it should have by not disclosing anything to the public immediately. Normally you might forgive the EPA for its relatively clean track record, but that is apparently not how they treat the rest of Americans.

After the BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico, President Obama said that he was looking for someone’s “ass to kick” yet when his own agency makes a mistake, he keeps silent.

In no way should BP be excused for their spill, and it was their own negligence that caused it, but they were definitely punished for their actions when they paid the largest environmental fine in U.S. history. The EPA doesn’t ever allow for mistakes to be made, and they bring the hammer down on anyone who makes an error.

This is inexcusable. They need to be held accountable for this mess, and cleaning up the river until it’s as clean as a gold fish tank is just the first step.

The EPA is hardly the only government agency that gets free reign. Congress’ spending is so out of control that we are about to hit another shutdown come October 1st if we don’t raise our debt ceiling again.

It is ridiculous that we have had to raise our debt ceiling 78 times since 1960.

There is zero chance anyone on the UH campus would be allowed a loan 77 times after not being able to pay back the first one.

For change to happen it has to start with us. We have to hold the government accountable for their actions, which starts with college students getting involved.

The first step is voicing our opinions in a meaningful way. The government would love it if no one cared about politics so they could do whatever they want and get away with it, which is what it feels like is happening now.

The only way to make a change in our government is for us all to come together despite our differences because I think we can all agree on that our leaders cannot keep leading us down this path.

The EPA should be punished for spilling this sewage. If corporations are held accountable for environmental catastrophes, then government agencies should be too.

Ethan Blucher is a mechanical engineering junior and may be reached at opinion@thedailycougar.com

Tags: ,

Back to Top ↑