Congress Calls for New Investigation into EPA Failure in Gold King Mine Spill in Silverton, CO

WASHINGTON — In the face of what he described as "stonewalling" by the Obama administration, the head of the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources on Wednesday called for a new, independent investigation into the federal response to the Gold King Mine accident in southwest Colorado.

The request by U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, followed an often-testy hearing that morning in which Republican lawmakers tangled with Interior Secretary Sally Jewell over the administration's follow-up to the Aug. 5 disaster, which dumped 3 million gallons of toxic waste into regional waterways.

An agency within the Interior Department — the Bureau of Reclamation — released a report in October that examined the blowout, but Bishop and other lawmakers said the Interior investigation brought little accountability to the Environmental Protection Agency, which has taken the blame for the spill it caused while trying to clear away debris at the polluted Gold King Mine as it evaluated the site for future cleanup.

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