Window Rock – President Russell Begaye today released the following statement on the United States Department of Interior report on the Gold King Mine Spill. According to theAssociated Press, which received an advanced copy of the report prior to its public release, the Interior Department found that “an EPA cleanup crew rushed its work and failed to consider the complex engineering involved” and triggered “the very blowout it hoped to avoid.” The Interior report directly refutes the EPA’s assertion that the blowout was “likely inevitable.”
“We applaud the Department of Interior for investigating the Gold King Mine Spill and refuting the Environmental Protection Agency’s flawed contention that the blowout was inevitable. This report exposes the role the EPA’s gross negligence had in triggering a disaster that has culturally and economically devastated the Navajo Nation. The EPA and all responsible parties must be held accountable.
“The Department of the Interior’s report further supports our view that the EPA is the wrong federal agency to manage the response to this crisis. It’s time for President Obama to stop dragging his feet and take action to fix this disaster. 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.”