Thursday, February 20, 2020

Senate Committee on Indian Affairs to hold hearing on EPA's mine spill

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The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs (SCIA) will hold an oversight hearing on the Gold King Mine spill on Sept. 16, allowing committee members to question the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) about the discharge, Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), the committee's chairman, said.

The hearing, titled “EPA’s Gold King Mine Disaster: Examining the Harmful Impacts to Indian Country,” was requested by Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Tom Udall (D-NM).

The Gold King Mine spill was triggered by EPA investigative actions on Aug. 5, causing the discharge of 3 million gallons of contaminated water into the Animas River, starting at the mine in Colorado and flowing into other waters in New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and areas of the Navajo Nation and Southern Ute Indian Tribe territories.

“The EPA must be held accountable for the release of contaminated and toxic waste water into the Animas River in Colorado and the San Juan River in New Mexico, Arizona and Utah,” Barrasso said. “Tribes use the waters from these rivers, and this hearing will be a good chance to hear firsthand how this disaster is impacting them. The EPA needs to work with these tribes to ensure the mess is cleaned up, the sovereignty of the tribes is respected, and that the concerns of the tribes are acted on.”

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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

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