- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 1, 2015

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) - Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye is asking the Federal Emergency Management Agency for help in the tribe’s recovery from a mine spill.

The Aug. 5 spill from the Gold King mine near Silverton, Colorado, sent toxic sludge into waterways including the San Juan River that flows through the reservation.

Begaye issued an emergency declaration and restricted tribal members from using the water for drinking, agriculture and livestock.

In a letter Tuesday, Begaye asks FEMA to appoint a recovery coordinator to the tribe, saying the agency is best positioned to assess the short- and long-term impacts, determine priorities and support recovery.

The tribe has been critical of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s response to the spill.

A spokesman for FEMA didn’t immediately return a message Tuesday from The Associated Press.


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