- By Native News Online Staff
WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — Navajo Nation filed a federal lawsuit this week against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, arguing that the new “2020 Waters of the United States Rule” diminishes the number and extent of Navajo waters protected by the Clean Air Act.
The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico, alleges that the new rule could also adversely impact the amount of federal funding that the Navajo Nation Environmental Protection Agency receives for its water programs.
“At this point in time, with climate change occurring around the world, it’s more prudent than ever to protect our land, water and air,” Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez said in a statement. “We, as Diné People, have a duty to preserve and conserve our natural resources to ensure that our future generations have access to clean water, air and land. The previous 2015 Waters of the United States rule provided clarity in protecting our Nation’s waters.”
The Nez administration is proposing to use $300 million from the CARES Act funding that the Navajo Nation received for water infrastructure and agriculture projects, which will require clean water resources to develop and construct.
“Our Navajo people always say that water is life, and that’s very true. When we plan for any type of water projects, we are planning for future generations, not just for today or tomorrow. Clean water is a necessity for life,” Navajo Nation Vice President Myron Lizer said in a statement.
More Stories Like ThisREPORT: Amazon.com partnering with Puyallup Tribe to Build Sorting Center on Tribal Lands near Tacoma, Wash.
Washington Tribe Waits to Resume Whaling
Indian Country Remembers Contributions of Rep. Dale Kildee Who Passed Away Last Week
Chumash Culture Day to be streamed on Facebook Live
Funding Available for Native Cultural Institutions
Native Perspective. Native Voices. Native News.
We launched Native News Online because the mainstream media often overlooks news that is important is Native people. We believe that everyone in Indian Country deserves equal access to news and commentary pertaining to them, their relatives and their communities. That's why the story you’ve just finished was free — and we want to keep it that way, for all readers. We hope you'll consider making a donation to support our efforts so that we can continue publishing more stories that make a difference to Native people, whether they live on or off the reservation. Your donation will help us keep producing quality journalism and elevating Indigenous voices. Any contribution of any amount — big or small — gives us a better, stronger future and allows us to remain a force for change. Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you.