Free Minds & Free Markets

Armed EPA Raid in Alaska Mining Town Will Be Investigated, Says Governor; EPA Officials Miss Congressional Hearing, Citing Partial Government Shutdown

Chicken, Alaska

you know who else was a federal agent?EPAIt looks like a took a Congressional hearing in Washington, DC to get the ball moving, but Alaska Governor Sean Parnell announced last Thursday, the same day as a hearing on the issue, that a special counsel will investigate the EPA’s armed raid over the summer of the mining town of Chicken, Alaska (population 7 at the last census). The agency sent a heavily armed team eight strong over possible violations of the Clean Water Act, an act the miners said amounted to intimidation. Residents questioned the need for armed agents to participate in what amounted to a water safety check, as well as the public safety threat the action posed.

While EPA officials dodged last week’s hearings, saying they couldn’t attend because of the government shutdown (is it keeping them too busy to show up for a hearing? seems like they’d have nothing better to do than exercise their civic duty and pride by testifying), the agency had previously defended the actions (via statement!). The Washington Times reports:

The agency released a statement in September saying that the inspections were not raids, but part of an “ongoing investigation” into potential violations of the Clean Water Act.

The statement also defended the agents’ carrying of firearms, saying that such investigations “may include the arrest of offenders and the protection of public safety.”

“Environmental law enforcement, like other forms of law enforcement, always involves the potential for physical, even armed, confrontation,” said the statement.

Of particular note is that the “potential for physical, even armed confrontation” in these kinds of situations is introduced by the armed EPA agents, who are enforcing a law not based on a violent crime.

93 percent of EPA employees have been furloughed for the partial government shutdown, probably leaving just the ones with the guns, the standard practice during this shutdown.

Bonus: here is a propagandtastic video explaining what EPA special agents do. The takeaway is they really want you to know they are a real law enforcement agency.

h/t Longtorso, Johnny

Photo Credit: EPA

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • seguin||

    It's getting to the point where I wish they had a good reason to want to be armed.

  • Loki||

    “Environmental law enforcement, like other forms of law enforcement, always involves the potential for physical, even armed, confrontation,” said the statement.

    Bullshit. They just want to feel like Steven Seagal from Fire Down Below, possibly one of the worst "action movies" ever made.

  • Brett L||

    I thought Fire Down Below was a documentary about gonorrhea.

  • Loki||

    Nope. That probably would have been better.

  • BakedPenguin||

    I thought it was a crappy Bob Seger song.

    That is to say, a Bob Seger song.

  • Hillary's Clitdong||

    Working on our SWAT moves,
    Trying to lose those Constitution blues,
    Working on our SWAT moves.

  • Swiss Servator, Kneel to Zug!||


  • VG Zaytsev||

    If only the teathuglicans hadn't take the nation hostage the media would be all over this story.

  • Cascadian Ephor Xenocles||

    I guess nobody here likes clean water.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    I like clean water just fine. I have absolutely NO faith that a bunch of armed bureauweenies can safeguard it, however.

    Indeed, what angers me most about Environmentalists and the government agencies they enable and infest is that I believe that there are real environmental issues with which we should concern ourselves, and I think that for the most part environmental activists (through stupidity or malice, it hardly matters) are concerned about the wrong issues and/or the wrong solutions.

  • Cascadian Ephor Xenocles||

    Pssssst.... sarcasm.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Sarcasm. Yeah, that's real helpful.

  • Cascadian Ephor Xenocles||

    That was the best post ever!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Thank you. You know, it's always nice to know your thoughts are appre- HEY WAIT A MINUTE

  • Cascadian Ephor Xenocles||


  • db||


  • Cascadian Ephor Xenocles||

    Thank you!

  • Almanian!||

    THis is the best thread EVAR!

  • Hillary's Clitdong||

    Bashar Assad, Lord of the Trolls.

  • ||

    Creepy video.

  • tarran||

    While EPA officials dodged last week’s hearings, saying they couldn’t attend because of the government shutdown

    Hey, the next time I ge a subpoena, I'll try telling them that I can't comply because I ain't getting paid for my time! I wonder how far that will get me...

  • Swiss Servator, Kneel to Zug!||

    Alt-text WIN.

    Could you have a word with The Jacket?

  • Brett L||

    One does not confront The Jacket.

  • Swiss Servator, Kneel to Zug!||

    Oh sure, next thing you'll be advising me not to walk into Mordor!

  • Marc F Cheney||

    Now that's just pandering, Ed.

    PS We like pandering.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Does the shutdown mean a suspension of armed EPA raids? Who is going to introduce violence into nonviolent situations if our regulatory soldiers aren't on the job? Support our pseudotroops! End the shutdown!

  • Swiss Servator, Kneel to Zug!||

    Support our pseudotroops!

    That is straight up, 100% freakin' WIN...

    and stolen too.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Dammit! I knew I should have kept it to myself.

  • ||

    I find it amusing that the EPA would raid Chicken, Alaska to make sure the water was clean when they were supposed to be making sure the sky wasn't falling.

  • ||

    An anti-NSA group is adopting the highway adjacent to the Utah data center.

  • db||

    Ultra-MechaChicken, Alaska? Shhh. No. He is legend.

  • CapitalistRunningDog||

    Well, I always suspected the EPA was full of jack-booted thugs, so it is sort of nice to have it confirmed.

  • Almanian!||

    But those are OUR jackbooted thugs! So it's OK.

  • Almanian!||

    True story from The Facebook: Almanian posts about a town with his surname - "Ima buy that place and make it into Libertopia. Self rule FTW!" etc.

    Leftardian "friend" - "No thanks - I don't want chemicals dumped into my drinking water...."


    I responded with a lighthearted, "...but that would violate rights, and we would enforce rights, so..." But the derp is SO strong in SO many people any more, I've given up hope....


  • Nixonfan||

    The question is not which federal agencies have paramilitaries, but rather which federal agencies currently lack a paramilitary capability. It seems that certain agencies, such as Commerce, HHS and Education are lagging, but my data may not be up to date. I am confident that the deficient agencies will catch up. After all, who is going to round up the willfully uninsured after January 1st? Presumably the Waffen HHS.


Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online