On Aug. 5, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency accidentally triggered a major toxic spill of mine waste into a creek that flowed into the Animas River in Colorado. The EPA estimates that about 3 million gallons of mining waste water was released. The spill turned the Animas, and later the San Juan River, bright orange. With the rivers closed, farmers, families and businesses are all affected by this spill. Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye announced plans to take legal action against the EPA to recover money spent on cleaning up the spill. It is also estimated that there are 23,000 abandoned mines in Colorado. Who is responsible for cleaning up abandoned mines? Cultural practices and livelihoods are often tied to water. How can tribes, states and the federal government work together to protect our sacred waterways?
Dr. Karletta Chief (Diné) – assistant professor in the department of soil, water, and environmental sciences at the University of Arizona
Anne Mariah Tapp- energy program director for the Grand Canyon Trust
Antonia Gonzales (Navajo) – host and producer National Native News
Break Music: For the Light (song) Digging Roots (artist) For the Light (album)