Wayne Laugesen of the Colorado Springs Gazette peppered Ms. McCarthy with questions about the agency’s lack of responsiveness to various stakeholders, to which McCarthy replied although she was heartbroken about the agency’s massive toxic breach, the water was restoring itself to safe levels.
The full video of the press conference is available courtesy of the Durango Herald, where McCarthy says:
“The very good news is that the data so far is showing that water quality does restore itself to prior conditions.” (6:40)
“The good news is that it seems to be restoring itself” (7:49)
McCarthy declined to meet with community members or visit the mine during her trip and instead met with political leaders and made a brief statement to the press.
“Essentially the head of the federal agency dedicated to protecting the environment is telling us that despite their poisoning of the river, the environment is strong and is repairing itself,” said Kelly Maher, executive director of the good-government organization Compass Colorado. “If the environment corrects itself without the EPA’s intervention why does it exist in the first place? If this spill had been caused by a non-governmental entity, the EPA would be apoplectic, but when the agency does it themselves, the environment just self-corrects.”