Navajo Nation estimates $700K in damage from mine spill

Mine Waste Leak
FILE - In this Aug. 14, 2015 file photo, water flows through a series of sediment retention ponds built to reduce heavy metal and chemical contaminants from the Gold King Mine wastewater accident, in the spillway about 1/4 mile downstream from the mine, outside Silverton, Colo. State and tribal officials remain concerned over river bottoms contaminated by a toxic mine spill that fouled waterways in three Western states, even as the federal agency that triggered the accident has sought to downplay the danger. Federal contractors released more than 3 million gallons of contaminated water Aug. 5 while working at an inactive mine site near Silverton. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, file)

FARMINGTON, N.M. (AP) – The Navajo Nation estimates that ranchers and farmers in two reservation chapters will suffer approximately $700,000 in damages from an August mine spill in Colorado.

The Daily-Times reports that the Navajo Nation Department of Agriculture on Monday released a preliminary survey on damages from the Gold King Mine Spill.

The department estimates that the millions of gallons of wastewater released into the Animas and San Juan rivers will cause $569,700 in damages for farmers from the Shiprock and Tse Daa Kaan chapters over the next five years.

It says Shiprock and Tse Daa k’aan ranchers will lose $103,200 during the same period.

Charmaine Hosteen of the agriculture department says the estimates are based on staff visits to the chapters. She says damages will be assessed for other chapters in the future. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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