EPA Gives Navajo Nation Grant To Monitor River Quality

By Stina Sieg
Published: Monday, June 13, 2016 - 12:51pm
Updated: Monday, June 13, 2016 - 2:08pm
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(Photo courtesy of Environmental Protection Agency)
Damaged GSA Suburban at base of Gold King Mine dump.

The federal government is giving the Navajo Nation $465,000 to monitor water quality in the San Juan River for contamination following a massive mine waste spill last year. 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said the grant is in addition to $1 million the agency gave the tribe last fall, after the spill in August 2015. The spill had a severe impact on the Navajo Nation, especially farmers who had to drive long distances to get clean water to irrigate their crops. Navajo leaders have been highly critical of the EPA, both for causing the spill and for the agency’s response. 

The spill was accidentally triggered by an EPA-led clean-up crew working at the Gold King Mine in southwestern Colorado. Three million gallons of toxic waste was released, tainting rivers in three states. 

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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