The news out of Flint, Michigan brought the issue of polluted drinking water into sharp center, as it was uncovered that authorities at each level—nearby, state and government—thought about lead-harmed water for a considerable length of time yet did nothing to address the issue.
Under state-run frameworks like utilities and streets, poorer groups are the last to get consideration from government tormented by inefficiencies and degenerate lawmakers. Maybe no gathering knows this superior to anything Native Americans, who have been deceived by government for quite a long time.
In the western U.S., water sullying has been a lifestyle for some tribes. The support aggregate Clean Up The Mines! depicts the circumstance in Navajo nation, which is far more terrible than in Flint, Michigan.
Since the 1950s, their water has been poisoned by uranium mining to fuel the nuclear industry and the making of atomic bombs for the U.S. military. Coal mining and coal-fired power plants have added to the mix. The latest assault on Navajo water was carried out by the massive toxic spills into the Animas and San Juan rivers when the EPA recklessly attempted to address the abandoned Gold King mine.
“In 2015 the Gold King Mine spill was a wake-up call to address dangers of abandoned mines, but there are currently more than 15,000 toxic uranium mines that remain abandoned throughout the US,” said Charmaine White Face from the South Dakota based organization Defenders of the Black Hills. “For more than 50 years, many of these hazardous sites have been contaminating the land, air, water, and national monuments such as Mt. Rushmore and the Grand Canyon. Each one of these thousands of abandoned uranium mines is a potential Gold King mine disaster with the greater added threat of radioactive pollution. For the sake of our health, air, land, and water, we can’t let that happen.”
There is no comprehensive law requiring cleanup of abandoned uranium mines, meaning corporations and government can walk away from them after exploiting their resources. 75 percent of abandoned uranium mines are on federal and Tribal lands.
Leona Morgan of Diné No Nukes brings up one case: “The United Nuclear Corporation plant tailings spill of 1979, north of Churchrock, New Mexico left a monstrous measure of radioactive tainting that down-streamers, today, are right now getting in their drinking water. A for the most part Navajo people group in Sanders, Arizona has been presented to double as far as possible admissible for uranium through their tap.”
A week ago, Diné No Nukes took part in challenges in Washington, D.C. to bring issues to light of past and continuous sullying of water supplies in the west, which lopsidedly influences Indian nation.
“These uranium mines cause radioactive pollution, and therefore every one of the occupants in their region are getting to be atomic radiation casualties,” said Petuuche Gilbert of the Laguna Acoma Coalition for a Safe Environment, the Multicultural Alliance for a Safe Environment and Indigenous World Association. “New Mexico and the government have given small financing to far reaching tidy up and just periodically are old mines remedies. The legislatures of New Mexico and the United States have an obligation to tidy up these radioactive mines and plants and, moreover, to perform well-being studies to decide the impacts of radioactive harming. The MASE and LACSE associations contradict new uranium mining and request legacy uranium mines to be tidied up,” said Mr. Gilbert.
Politicians continue to take advantage of Native Americans, making deals with mining companies that would continue polluting their water supplies. Senator John McCain sneaked a resolution into the last defense bill which gave land to Resolution Copper. Their planned copper mining would poison waters that Apaches rely on and would desecrate the ceremonial grounds at Oak Flat.
While EPA and local officials have been forced to address the poisoned water in Flint, the contamination of Indian country water supplies continues. A bill called the Uranium Exploration and Mining Accountability Act, introduced by Arizona Congressman Raúl Grijalva, has languished in Congress for two years.