ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, Attorney General Hector Balderas and other top officials are angry with the federal government’s decision not to pay claims related to a 2015 mine spill that tainted rivers in three western states.
The Republican governor said Friday that this marks another insult by the Obama administration and serves as another example of why people have lost faith in the federal government.
Balderas, a Democrat, accused the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency of revictimizing the state and the Navajo Nation by not taking full responsibility for triggering the spill of 3 million gallons of toxic wastewater from the Gold King Mine in southern Colorado.
New Mexico was first to sue over the spill.
Both Martinez and Balderas have repeatedly said the EPA should be held to the same standards it would impose on private interests accused of polluting.