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Navajo Council Upset with EPA

Navajo Council Upset with EPA
January 17
11:15 2017

The 23rd Navajo Nation Council is upset with the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision not to compensate Navajo families for losses suffered during 2015’s Gold King Mine spill.

Navajo farmers, livestock owners and other families suffered tremendous losses due to the spill, which polluted the San Juan River.

The tribe was already upset with the EPA because of delays in notifying the tribe of the disaster.

The EPA announced that it was “not legally able” to pay compensation to the Navajo claimants.

In a statement, Navajo Nation Speaker LoRenzo Bates urged the tribe’s Congressional delegations from Arizona, Utah and New Mexico to “do the right thing by our people.”

The Council hopes the EPA will reconsider its decision and ultimately compensate Navajo families that faced “extensive losses” in the spill.

Since the August, 2015, spill tribal leaders have meet with government officials and their Congressional representatives and provided oral and written testimony on the losses that befell tribal families, Bates’ statement read.

It is not right for the government to now decide it isn’t responsible for compensation, the statement said.

The spill was caused when EPA crews accidentally triggered the release of about 880,000 pounds of heavy metals into a tributary of the Animas River while cleaning up abandoned mining sites

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