EPA Leaves Navajo Farmers High and Dry

Activist Erin Brockovich joins Senator McCain, Representative Gosar in fight against EPA injustice

Poisoned by a mine spill nearly a month ago, the San Juan River has left those dependent upon it feeling hopeless. Farmers on the Navajo Reservation will not use the water for food or for drink, not even for livestock for fear it may still be contaminated. They now depend largely on donated water supplies for their survival.

According to The Arizona Republic:

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says that contaminant levels have returned to pre-spill conditions and that the agency will no longer provide farmers with water as it had through August.

But decades of distrust and frustration over pollutants to Navajo territory are coming to a head, and the issue has attracted celebrity activist Erin Brockovich.

Now, Brockovich joins the likes of Senator John McCain in a fight against the EPA.  And, yesterday U.S. Representative Paul Gosar launched a campaign to impeach the EPA’s head administrator.

Brockovich is prepared to help the Navajo people for the long struggle ahead, she says. The Navajo Nation has had a long string of devastation to its land – “Uranium, heavily mined during the Cold War, polluted wells and watering holes that residents unknowingly used for decades. Massive uranium waste piles still languish around the reservation, many with no cleanup in site,” The Republic reports.

The Republic continued:

Brockovich’s visit came the same day that the Navajo Nation EPA announced that it found the San Juan River quality did not meet the tribe’s standards for livestock use…

The EPA took responsibility, but took heat for failing to immediately notify all affected parties and for initially downplaying the severity of the spill. That helped drive much of the distrust among the Navajo people…

The agency has since sent dozens of EPA employees to help communities surrounding the polluted waters. Staffers have also monitored toxin levels in water ways and treated the mine’s discharge.

More than 400 farmers were affected by the spill in Navajo County, and about 200 are still not using the San Juan River…

Read the entire article here.

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