EnvironmentNews

5th lawsuit filed against EPA over 2015 mine waste spill

Author: Associated Press - August 10, 2018 - Updated: August 11, 2018

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In this 2015 file photo, Dan Bender, with the La Plata County Sheriff’s Office, takes a water sample from the Animas River near Durango. (Photo by Jerry McBride/The Durango Herald via The Associated Press)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A fifth lawsuit has been filed against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over a mine waste spill the agency inadvertently triggered in 2015, polluting rivers in Colorado, New Mexico and Utah.

The lawsuit was filed Aug. 3 in federal court in Albuquerque, New Mexico, by 295 Navajo farmers and ranchers. Their attorney, Kate Ferlic, said Friday the lawsuit asks for about $75 million.

The suit says the farmers and ranchers lost crops and livestock and had to pay to haul clean water because the spill kept them from using the polluted rivers.

The EPA referred questions to Department of Justice officials, who did not immediately return a phone call.

A judge consolidated the new lawsuit with cases filed previously by the Navajo Nation, New Mexico, Utah and a dozen New Mexico residents. Those suits seek a total of $2.3 billion.

Associated Press

Associated Press