FARMINGTON, N.M. — Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye is renewing the tribe's call for the federal government to reimburse farmers for damaged caused by a massive mine waste spill in southwestern Colorado.
Begaye was among the tribal, state and local officials who participated earlier this week in a discussion marking the one-year anniversary of the blowout at the Gold King Mine.
An EPA-led crew triggered the spill during preliminary cleanup work on Aug. 5, 2015. Three million gallons of wastewater carrying arsenic, lead and other heavy metals tainted rivers in Colorado, New Mexico and Utah.
Begaye says the spill was devastating for Navajo farmers and the $445,000 the EPA recently awarded for response costs is only a quarter of what the spill has cost the tribe so far.