Navajo Nation sues feds over massive 2015 mine waste spill

Toxic River
The Animas River is still flowing with toxic waste from the Gold King Mine on Saturday, Aug. 8, 2015, as seen from the 32nd Street Bridge in Durango, Colo., as the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad train goes by. (Jerry McBride/The Durango Herald via AP)

SHIPROCK, N.M. (AP) – One of the nation’s largest American Indian tribes is suing the federal government over a massive mine waste spill that tainted rivers in three Western states.

The Navajo Nation on Tuesday joined New Mexico in pursuing legal action against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in the wake of the August 2015 spill in southwestern Colorado.

Tribal officials pointed to delays and resistance, saying the EPA has failed to compensate Navajos for their losses or provide any meaningful recovery efforts.

A federal contractor triggered the spill during preliminary cleanup work at a mine. Three million gallons of wastewater carrying arsenic, lead and other heavy metals contaminated rivers in Colorado, New Mexico and Utah.

The EPA has said it takes responsibility for cleaning up the spill but wouldn’t comment on the lawsuit.

KRQE.com 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.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s