A spill of toxic mine water took place on August 5 during a US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) investigation of the Gold King Mine in Colorado.
Millions of gallons of polluted wastewater were accidentally dumped into the Animas River. The river flows into major water sources for agriculture in the Four Corners region, most of which belong to semi-autonomous Native American nations.
On Saturday, a delegation including McCain and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey held a meeting with Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye and his vice president at the Navajo Nation capital city of Window Rock. During the meeting, Navajo activists were beating drums and chanting protests over McCain and Ducey’s presence in the reservation, Blue Nation Review newspaper reported.
On August 13, Navajo leaders accused the EPA of cheating them out of future compensation in an acrimonious row over damages due to them over the spill.
Last week, EPA officials went door to door on a Navajo reservation asking members of the tribe to sign a form offering to pay damages from the spill, according to the Washington Times newspaper.