Category Archives: Navajo Generating Station

Southern Ute Tribe Declares Disaster Over Mining Spill in Animas River

Courtesy La Plata Office of Emergency Management
The Animas River as it appeared on August 6, 2015, a day after a contractor working for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) accidentally let loose three million gallons of toxic sludge. The river flows through the Southern Ute Tribe reservation.
8/13/15

The Southern Ute Indian Tribe, the first to watch a 100-mile-long plume of toxic mining sludge flow through their reservation in the Animas River, has declared a state of local disaster.

“The cost and magnitude of responding to and recovery from the impact of the water contamination from the Gold King Mine Animas River Spill, caused by the EPA on August 5, 2015 is far in excess of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe’s available resources,” the tribe said in its declaration.

The spill, unleashed accidentally on August 5 by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency workers trying to remediate contamination at the Gold King Mine in Colorado, sent three million gallons of wastewater into Cement Creek, which flows into the Animas River and from there to the San Juan River, then to the Colorado River in Utah. Before making its way to the Navajo Nation, the plume containing heavy metals including arsenic and lead wound through the 1,059-square-mile Southern Ute reservation in Colorado.

RELATED:Video: Toxic Mining Wastewater Spill Turns Animas River Lurid Orange in Colorado

The EPA has been sampling the water up and down the spill route, but test results were still pending as of Wednesday August 12. Southern Ute tribal officials are also monitoring the situation, the tribe said in a statement, coordinating responses with other jurisdictions as well. Drinking-water testing is available to tribal members who live in the Animas watershed, the statement said.

“The environmental and economic consequences of this disaster will not be known for some time, but the Tribe is doing everything in its power to respond to this terrible situation and safeguard the health of our tribal members, the aquatic life, and other affected natural resources,” said Tribal Chairman Clement J. Frost in the statement.

Classifying it as a local disaster activates the response and recovery aspects and enables aid to be released. The worst of the plume of toxic sludge has already passed, but the lasting effects on water quality and wildlife is not yet known. Tribal officials said the river will be closed until at least Friday August 14.

Meanwhile, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy visited Durango, Colorado and said the spill had passed and the water had returned to the condition they were in before it happened, theDenver Postreported on August 12. But she did not specify when it might be safe, or advisable, to reopen the river.

Read more athttp://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2015/08/13/southern-ute-tribe-declares-disaster-over-mining-spill-animas-river-161377

5/24/2012 ALEC Exposed: Peabody Energy

5/22/2012 Grist: Peabody Coal buys coal from U.S. taxpayers for cheap, sells it abroad for huge profit

Peabody Coal buys coal from U.S. taxpayers for cheap, sells it abroad for huge profit By David Roberts  Yesterday, I wrote about the issue of public land in the Powder River Basin being leased to coal companies for cheap, so they can strip-mine it and sell the coal abroad at an enormous profit.  Also yesterday, the feds held a “competitive lease sale” for the South Porcupine Tract, which contains almost 402 million tons of mineable coal.

Guess how many companies bid in this “competitive auction”? One: Peabody Coal, the company that filed the original application [PDF] for the lease.

This was actually the second auction for the tract. The first ended with no sale because BLM rejected Peabody’s lowball offer of $0.90 a ton. The winning price in Thursday’s sale? $1.11 per ton.

Again: $1.11 per ton.

The price of a ton of Powder River Basin coal on U.S. spot markets? $9.15 per ton, as of May 11.

The price of a ton of coal exported to China? It averaged $97.28 per ton [PDF] in 2011. It’s now up to $123 per ton.

And exports are only likely to go upEIA: coal exports

So, to summarize: You, the U.S. taxpayer, just leased another huge chunk of your land to Peabody Coal at $1.11 per ton of coal. Peabody will strip-mine that land and take the coal to China, where it will sell it for over $100 per ton. Peabody pockets enormous profits*, the U.S. taxpayer gets devastated land, and China accelerates global warming.

And it’s all being pushed through by the Obama administration.

Happy Friday.

——

* Now, obviously, $1.11 per ton is not the sum total of Peabody’s costs. They also pay BLM some production royalties and rental fees. And of course it costs them money to mine the coal and ship it to China! Nevertheless, the notion that $1.11 per ton is “fair market value” for coal that Peabody is going to tell for over $100 a ton is a sad joke.

 

5/9/2012 Sara Saunders to Mr. James Anaya: Request for emergency intervention and investigation in Black Mesa, HPL

5 9 2012 Sara Saunders Letter to James Anaya.“>

5/8/2012 Carlos W. Begay, Sr. & Marsha Monestersky letter to Mr. James Anaya: US government theft of Black Mesa, HPL

4/27/2012 Media Release: Forgotten People go to United Nations to secure human right to housing and water

4 27 2012 FP Media Release Right to Water and Housing“>

4/27/2012 Statement of Glenna Begay to Mr. James Anaya, Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, OHCHR

4 24 2012_Glenna Begay_Speaker FP_Land & Resources Speaker_to Special Rapporteur James Anaya“>

4/27/2012 Statement of Leonard Benally to Mr. James Anaya, Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, OHCHR

4 24 2012 Leonard Benally_Speaker FP_Self Mr James Anaya“>

4/27/2012 Statement of Norris Nez, Hathalie (Medicine Man) to Mr. James Anaya, Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, OHCHR

4 24 2012_Norris Nez_Medicine Man_Land & Mr James Anaya“>

4/27/2012 Statement of Marlene Benally to Mr. James Anaya, Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, OHCHR

4 24 2012_Marlene Benally_Speaker FP_Land & Resources_to Special Rapporteur James Anaya