Demand Action for Navajo Water Crisis

Navajo Nation Council Chamber

Target: Gina McCarthy, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency

Goal: Respond to the water crisis in the Navajo Nation caused by decades of uranium mining.

The Navajo Nation is suffering from a massive environmental crisis. A decades-long legacy of uranium mining has contaminated the land, air, and water of Navajo peoples, leading to widespread health problems and water poverty. The Environmental Protection Agency has responded in a minimal capacity, cleaning up nine of the more than 500 abandoned uranium mines on Navajo land, and developing a five-year plan to address the most pressing threats.

Many believe the EPA’s response is not good enough and have called for a 50-year plan, continued cleanup of additional mines, and removal of contaminants to uninhabited areas. Navajo involvement in the EPA’s planning process, in a leadership capacity, has also been demanded. More work is also needed to ensure that uncontaminated water is being piped and hauled in to the people who need it most.

The water crisis in the Navajo Nation is comparable to the African water crisis, with 40 percent of the population lacking access to clean, safe drinking water. Uranium contamination has resulted in a myriad of health problems, with kidney ailments and cancer occurring at alarming rates in affected people. Demand that the EPA respond swiftly and appropriately to this sustained act of domestic terrorism against the Navajo people.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Administrator McCarthy,

The legacy of uranium mining on Navajo tribal lands has resulted in a major health crisis. Clean, safe drinking water is extremely difficult to come by, and heath problems such as cancer and kidney-related diseases are widespread. The lack of drinkable water has affected every aspect of Navajo life. It is a travesty of justice that water poverty on such a massive scale is occurring in the richest nation in the world.

We, the undersigned, demand that the EPA take more urgent and far-reaching action than is currently being undertaken. We demand a 50-year plan for diagnosing and treating the water crisis, cleanup of all abandoned uranium mines in the Navajo Nation, an emergency drinking water supply for the entire affected population, and removal of contaminants to uninhabited areas. Additionally, we believe that Navajo leadership in the EPA’s planning process is essential to the success of this project.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Wiliam Nakai

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