U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT), chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources, recently joined two other lawmakers in sending a letter to Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell demanding more details on the Gold Kind Mine spill.
Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), who is vice chair of the House Committee on Natural Resources, and Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chair Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) also signed the letter, which calls for Jewell to release data and documents about the lead up to the event, which was triggered by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) inspection actions on Aug. 5.
“Furthermore, at some point after the spill, EPA chose the Department of the Interior to conduct an ‘independent review’ of the disaster," the letter said. “The decision to assign that job to another Executive Branch agency raises concerns that the reviewers are not sufficiently independent, and therefore susceptible to political influence or liable to limit the scope of the review. Moreover, the spill raises serious questions about the steps [the Department of Interior] has taken to protect its natural resource and trust interests.”
A similar letter was also sent to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy last week.