EPA Won't Reconsider Toxic Wastewater Damage Claims After Being Sued

Published: Wednesday, August 9, 2017 - 3:06pm
Updated: Wednesday, August 9, 2017 - 3:18pm

The Environmental Protection Agency is funding that cleanup on the Navajo Nation but the agency has not agreed to give the nation funding to recoup costs from the Gold King Mine Spill two years ago.

That spill started near Silverton, Colorado, when the EPA contract workers inadvertently triggered the spill of toxic wastewater.

It turned river water in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and on the Navajo Nation bright orange with arsenic and mercury and forced farmers and utilities to stop using the water.

Since then, it’s been an uphill battle for groups hoping to receive some sort of payment from the federal government.

Last year, New Mexico and the Navajo Nation both sued the EPA over the spill.

EPA administrator Scott Pruitt pledged to reconsider damage claims the Obama administration had rejected after the spill. But this week, he added the EPA cannot reconsider the two largest claims from the state of New Mexico or the Navajo Nation because they sued the agency.

For more on this, we’re joined by Sarah Krakoff, a professor of law at the University of Colorado.

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