Please invest in Our Daily Planet today, by making a one time or monthly contribution.
We do not charge our readers a subscription fee for our content. We want to continue to grow our readership, particularly among millennials and public servants. Voluntary contributions from readers will help us employ interns and freelance journalists, expand our content, and reach a larger audience.
Why this Matters: This spill was devastating, contaminating 200 miles of river on Navajo lands — farmers and water utilities had to stop drawing from those rivers. The Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez said in a statement: “The Gold King Mine blowout damaged entire communities and ecosystems in the Navajo Nation. We pledged to hold those who caused or contributed to the blowout responsible, and this settlement is just the beginning.” The federal government should now own up to its obligation to make up for the suffering its contractor caused the Navajo Nation and its people.
A Long Legal Battle
After the spill, the EPA declared Gold King and 47 other mining sites in the area a Superfund cleanup district. Sunnyside Gold Corp. denied liability for the accident, arguing that it didn’t own the Gold King Mine when it was in operation, and therefore it didn’t cause the waste spill. The settlement did not force the corporation to admit liability or wrongdoing for the spill, but Sunnyside agreed to it “as a matter of practicality to eliminate the costs and resources needed to continue to defend against ongoing litigation,” the company’s director of reclamation operations told the Associated Press. In addition to the $10 million, Sunnyside will continue to work with the local community to purify the region’s water.
The tribe also made claims against the EPA and its contractors, but these claims remain pending. In addition, 300 individual tribal members also have pending claims for a separate lawsuit. The EPA argued that the water quality returned to pre-spill levels, but New Mexico officials and tribal leaders alike found that heavy metals had coagulated in the river sediment. During heavy rains or snowmelt, this sediment got stirred up and seeped back into the water.
by Amy Lupica, ODP Staff Writer While all eyes were on Texas last month, another part of the U.S. has been dealing with its own water crisis. Parts of Jackson, Mississippi have been without water for almost 3 weeks after cold weather swept through the region. Thousands of people, predominantly people of color, have been impacted by the shortage […]
While more than one million Texans are still living without running water, Democratic lawmakers and advocates across the nation are urging President Biden to back a water infrastructure bill that would commit $35 billion to update and climate-proof the nation’s water infrastructure.
Why This Matters: The Guardian reports that a majority of water and waste systems in the U.S. are unprepared to deal with the increasing impacts of climate change.
Why This Matters: The states failed to reach a water compact more than a decade ago — now they have nowhere else to go but the Supreme Court, which has “original jurisdiction” over a dispute between two states.
Our Daily Planet is your daily dose of the stories shaping our world and the ways that you can take action. From the climate crisis to the protection of biodiversity, if these issues matter to you then please subscribe & stay informed!
Your privacy is Important! We promise never to use your email address to send you spam or advertisements.