Company plans to convert a water well into a toxic waste dump near Navajo Nation

A proposal by Enduring Resources to transform a New Mexico water well into a toxic wastewater disposal site faces opposition from local Navajo activist Mario Atencio and residents who want more transparency and tribal consultation.

Jerry Redfern reports for Capital & Main.


In short:

  • The well, situated close to Navajo lands, was set to be converted without adequate notification to local tribes.
  • Mario Atencio discovered the conversion plan inadvertently while researching for a doctoral paper.
  • Legal actions and appeals for better notification and transparency in oil and gas operations continue amid accusations of environmental racism.

Key quote:

"How do you approve an underground toxic waste dump without telling nobody?"

— Mario Atencio, Native rights organizer

Why this matters:

Critics of the proposal argue that injecting toxic wastewater into old wells can lead to contamination of aquifers that are sources of drinking water and irrigation. The fear is not unfounded; instances of such contamination have been documented, though they are relatively rare.

extreme heat wave
Credit: Wayne S. Grazio/Flickr

Scorching heat wave in Mexico and Southwest US intensifies due to climate change

Climate change has significantly worsened the recent deadly heat wave in Mexico and the Southwestern United States, making it 35 times more likely and 2.5 degrees hotter.

Seth Borenstein reports for the Associated Press.

Keep reading...Show less
Senator Whitehouse & climate change

Senator Whitehouse puts climate change on budget committee’s agenda

For more than a decade, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse gave daily warnings about the mounting threat of climate change. Now he has a powerful new perch.
Amid LNG’s Gulf Coast expansion, community hopes to stand in its way
Coast Guard inspects Cameron LNG Facility in preparation for first LNG export in 2019. (Credit: Coast Guard News)

Amid LNG’s Gulf Coast expansion, community hopes to stand in its way

This 2-part series was co-produced by Environmental Health News and the journalism non-profit Economic Hardship Reporting Project. See part 1 here.Este ensayo también está disponible en español
Keep reading...Show less
criminalizing pipeline protests
Credit: Mark Klotz/Flickr

Lawmakers push to penalize pipeline protests

Lawmakers, driven by fossil fuel donors, are working to expand criminal penalties for pipeline protests under new federal safety regulations.

Emily Sanders reports for The Lever.

Keep reading...Show less
desertification & regenerative sustainable agriculture
Credit: ILRI/Flickr

Reviving ancient practices to combat desertification in Jordan

Communities in Jordan are successfully using the ancient practice of hima to combat overgrazing and desertification, revitalizing local ecosystems and traditions.

Diana Kruzman reports for bioGraphic.

Keep reading...Show less

Congestion pricing pause halts NYC air pollution projects

New York City’s pause on congestion pricing endangers over $100 million in projects aimed at reducing air pollution in low-income neighborhoods.

Stephen Nessen reports for Gothamist.

Keep reading...Show less

States seek to add health warning labels to gas stoves

California, New York, and Illinois are considering laws to require health warning labels on gas stoves, highlighting their potential risks.

Wes Venteicher and Marie J. French report for POLITICO.

Keep reading...Show less

New Mexico considers reuse of oil and gas wastewater amid safety concerns

New Mexico regulators propose reusing treated oil and gas wastewater in industrial processes but prohibit its discharge into rivers due to safety concerns.

Martha Pskowski reports for Inside Climate News.

Keep reading...Show less
From our Newsroom
nurses climate change

Op-ed: In a warming world, nurses heal people and the planet

Nurses have the experience, motivation and public support to make an important contribution in tackling the climate crises.

planetary health diet

This diet will likely keep you alive longer — and help the planet

New research finds the Planetary Health Diet lowers our risk to most major causes of death.

environmental justice

LISTEN: Jose Ramon Becerra Vera on democratizing science

“In their own way, they’re becoming experts, not just of their experiences but also of the data collection process.”

The oil and gas industry’s radioactive problem: Q&A with Justin Nobel

The oil and gas industry’s radioactive problem: Q&A with Justin Nobel

“Of all the levels of radium in produced water or brine around the world that I’ve looked at, I have encountered none that are consistently as high as what comes out of the Marcellus Shale.”

Stay informed: sign up for The Daily Climate newsletter
Top news on climate impacts, solutions, politics, drivers. Delivered to your inbox week days.