Water pollution has been a big issue in the state of Alaska for many years. Ordinances such as the Clean Water Act have played a role in protecting the marine life on the coast of the state. In late August, agents of the Alaska Environmental Crimes Task Force converged on several mines around the Alaskan town of Chicken. Apparently, their focus may have been there to check section 404 violations of discharges into the neighboring rivers, lakes and oceans. Sufficient body armor was required for the investigation.
According to the Alaska Dispatch: “Both Alaska U.S. Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich have inquired into the task force’s actions. Congressman Don Young is also looking into it. They have been having a difficult time getting straight answers from the EPA.”
EPA officials have not offered any public clarifications for this intrusion, as its part of procedure. The Dispatch reports that in a conference call last week with congressional officials, the EPA said body armor and guns were used due to information pertaining to drugs and human trafficking in the Chicken area. Murkowski wasn’t buying the EPA line: “Their explanation—that there are concerns within the area of rampant drug trafficking and human trafficking going on—sounds wholly concocted to me.”
The fact that the task force is wearing this body armor protection for this intrusion can present problems. There’s the probability of a clash between unexpected armed agents and armed miners that might not end well. The miners are eager to meet with the EPA to find out what’s really going on. The complaint is that armed government officials packing guns and checking on civilian violations would never happen to U.S. farmers. This is considered a huge calamity.