Former Conn. DEP Commissioner McCarthy on the Hot Seat for Colorado Mine Spill

We’ve all seen the video or pictures of the mustard-colored Animas River in Colorado. Some 3 million gallons of toxic sludge were released into the river from an abandoned gold mine by the Environmental Protection Agency—the very department tasked with protecting the environment.

Animas River after toxic spill caused by the EPA

Animas River after toxic spill caused by the EPA

Now, federal EPA chief Gina McCarthy is apologizing. McCarthy was the commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Environmental (now the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection) from 2004 to 2009.

McCarthy says she is “deeply sorry” and that it “pains me to no end” to see the disgusting ooze. She called the spill a “tragic and unfortunate accident” and said she takes full responsibility for the accidental spill. “We are going to move as quickly as we can.”

Gina McCarthy, head of the EPA and former commissioner of the Conn. Department of Environmental Protection.

Gina McCarthy, head of the EPA and former commissioner of the Conn. Department of Environmental Protection.

The EPA now says parts of the river have returned to normal. But some nearby are not convinced.

Wednesday afternoon, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper didn’t really help things when he appeared on CNN Wednesday evening and said if iodine was added, he be happy to “take a swig” of water from the river. Yeah, right.

The conspiracy theorists are already working overtime hypothesizing that the EPA spilled the waste on purpose to secure federal Super Fund money.

McCarthy was widely viewed as a successful and effective administrator in her time in Connecticut and in other posts in Massachusetts.