The Navajo Nation Environmental Protection Agency recently received $465,000 from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to monitor water quality in the San Juan River, adding to the $1 million the tribe received last October for environmental activities throughout the reservation.
“Funding for long-term monitoring will provide important information needed by the Navajo Nation, EPA and our other state and tribal partners to assess the San Juan River,” Alexis Strauss, EPA’s Acting Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest, said. “We will continue to work with the affected states and tribes using sound science to monitor and understand river conditions.”
The new funding will go towards activities such as sediment sampling and a fish tissue contaminant study. The contaminant levels in fish will be particularly analyzed to determine if the after-effects of the Gold King Mine release have the potential to impact human health. The data captured by the Navajo Nation will be used by the EPA in long-term monitoring of the area.
The funding for the Navajo Nation is part of $2 million in grants that the EPA has allocated for states and tribes to study the impacts of the Gold King Mine release on the Animas-San Juan Basin.