Published August 4, 2016
WASHINGTON The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of the Inspector General is conducting a criminal inquiry into what caused a breach at the Gold King Mine last August. The “accident” was caused by a subcontractor working for the EPA.
Over three million gallons of toxic wastewater was released into a tributary of the Animas River, which made its way to the San Juan River that is still negatively impacted parts of the Navajo Nation.
U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs (SCIA), and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) praised the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of the Inspector General’sannouncement that they are conducting a criminal investigation into last year’s Gold King Mine disaster.
In May, Barrasso and McCain sent a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch requesting a Department of Justice criminal investigation into the EPA’s responsibility for the mine spill.
“I am glad to see that a criminal investigation into the Gold King Mine disaster is finally underway,” said Chairman Barrasso. “Tribal communities in the affected region have been devastated and the EPA has not taken responsibility for the mess it made. I hope this investigation uncovers who is at fault and holds them responsible. We will be watching closely.”
Navajo Nation President Begaye has not been happy with how the EPA has handled the cleanup and not fulfilled promises to the Navajo Nation during the past year.
“People no longer shopping with our famers due to suspensions contamination and they travel elsewhere, this has impacted the economy and will take years to recover,” also stated President Begaye.