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.

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