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Navajo Nation sues feds over massive 2015 mine waste spill

Posted at 4:48 PM, Aug 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-16 21:16:22-04
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.