FEMA Denies Navajo Nation’s Emergency Declaration for Gold King Mine Spill

Animus River was contaminated on August 5, 2015 and flowed into San Juan River on Navajo Nation

Animus River was contaminated on August 5, 2015 and flowed into San Juan River on Navajo Nation

Published October 23, 2015

WINDOW ROCK, ARIZONA – The Federal Emergency Management Agency has denied the Navajo Nation’s request for an Emergency Declaration in response to the Gold King Mine spill.

Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye issued the following statement on Thursday, October 22, 2015, in response to FEMA’s denial of the Emergency Declaration request:

“The Gold King Mine spill culturally and economically devastated the Navajo Nation, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s decision to decline our request for an emergency declaration is disappointing and wrong.”

“Our people have suffered due to the reckless actions of the Environmental Protection Agency, and the federal government’s failed response to this crisis has only added insult to injury. The Obama Administration has turned down virtually every request we have made for greater assistance, each time referring us back to the EPA – the same agency that caused the problem in the first place.”

San Juan River polluted as result of Gold King Mine

San Juan River polluted as result of Gold King Mine

“Its time for President Obama to take action to fix the disaster that was caused by his EPA. The President needs to respond to bipartisan calls to issue an emergency declaration and instruct all federal agencies to assist the Navajo Nation instead of sending our requests back to the EPA.

“The Navajo Nation will appeal FEMA’s ill-advised decision and fight for every resource possible to address the damage caused by the Gold King Mine spill. As President, I will not rest until our people have been made whole and fairly compensated for their losses.”

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