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Navajo Nation Receives $445,000 From EPA

Navajo Nation Receives $445,000 From EPA
August 11
11:50 2016

The Environmental Protection Agency will reimburse the Navajo Nation $445,000 as a result of the Gold King Mine spill.

The money is part of the $1.2 million the EPA will provide to the tribe and government agencies in the Four Corners area affected by the 2015 disaster.

The money is a reimbursement for costs associated with dealing with the Gold King spill. 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.

The $445,000 going to the Navajo Nation is reimbursement for water quality testing, laboratory work, field evaluations and personnel costs. The tribe had previously received $158,000 from the EPA.

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM) said he was glad that the EPA reimbursed the Navajo Nation. Heinrich – along with Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM), Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and U.S. Rep. Ray Lujan (D-NM) – introduced the Gold King Mine Spill Recovery Act last year.

The Act requires the EPA to compensate individuals impacted by the spill. It also requires the EPA to implement long-term water quality monitoring for the Navajo Nation and states affected.

“The Navajo Nation and residents throughout San Juan County are still struggling to recover from the loss of income and uncertainty surrounding the long-term effects of the blow-out,” Heinrich said in a statement.

The one-year anniversary of the Gold King spill was August 5.

The EPA says it has now spent more than $29 million on spill-related costs.

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