Navajo Nation president considers lifting advisory against using San Juan
August 22, 2015
In a video posted to his Facebook page, Begaye fills a Styrofoam cup with water from one of the tank’s spigots then dips a finger in the water. “There are these black beads in the water, and when you rub them, black streaks go down your hands”.
After the spill, federal agencies, including the EPA and the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, arranged for water to be hauled to tribal communities and hay to be delivered for livestock. “It’s just wrong. Clearly, it’s wrong”. So the agency sent the tribe 9 water tanks that turned out to be fouled with oil residue.
There are at least three ongoing investigations into exactly how EPA triggered the disaster, which tainted rivers in Colorado, New Mexico and Utah with lead, arsenic and other contaminates.
The EPA deployed 13 tanks-9 to the Shiprock area-to help Navajo farmers in the aftermath of the Gold King Mine spill.
But Shiprock Chapter President Duane “Chilli” Yazzie said after a Navajo Nation tanker tried flood-irrigating a field row-by-row, they realized it would take too long; the trucks are needed elsewhere on Navajo land, too.
“That is clearly oil”, Branch said. Frankly, I wouldn’t trust the EPA to guarantee the cleanliness of anyone’s water, given the trouble they’re in. with Congress and western residents. They need to get out of our nation, send the dollars directly here. “Let us take care of these issues ourselves because we care about the health and welfare of our people”.
But when Begaye tested the water himself, he saw signs of contamination and sharply criticized the EPA for trying to make Ben seem unhinged and trying to sow discord between the tribe and government officials.
“Every new development of the EPA spill story is worse than the last”, said Jonathan Lockwood, head of the free-market group Advancing Colorado.
Jason Sandel, executive vice president of Triple S Trucking, said the tanks and trucks used by the company were cleaned before delivering non-potable water to the reservation.
Following the Gold King Mine release, Triple S Trucking has served as a contractor to provide for the storage and delivery of agricultural water at the direction of Environmental Quality Management.
EPA officials were quick to promise relief to the Navajo Nation in the form of water and food for livestock, but slow to act. Begaye said Thursday he would now consider lifting an advisory against using the river to water crops.
A crowd of mostly farmers gathered Monday night in Shiprock, New Mexico, to address the water quality.