On August 5, 2015, 3 million gallons of acid mine drainage were accidently released from the Gold King Mine spill, eventually reaching the San Juan River—the lifeblood of the Navajo Nation. Through this webinar, learn about the spill, its aftermath, and the efforts to prevent and deal with the pollution of a critical river.
Many Native American communities have subsistence livelihoods and strong cultural practices and spiritual beliefs that are deeply connected to the natural environment. As a result, environmental contamination from catastrophic mine spills severely impacts Indigenous people to the core of their spiritual and physical livelihoods and there is potential for unique exposure pathways and greater health risks.
Building on established partnerships with the Navajo Nation, the University of Arizona collected environmental and household samples and held community focus groups in the years after the spill. The results of this investigation will be used in the future to develop a community-based intervention, designed to prevent potentially harmful exposures based on actual measured risk, and/or effectively communicate long-term risks from the Gold King Mine.