Erin Brockovich has accused the Environmental Protection Agency of lying about how much toxic waste was accidentally dumped into three U.S. rivers, saying it was millions of gallons more than the agency admitted to.
The incident occurred when the government agency was doing excavation work near a Colorado mine, and Brockovich has reportedly met with leaders from the Navajo Nation in order to see the damage the spill has caused for herself. The damage has affected waterways from Colorado to New Mexico.
“They did not tell the truth about the amount. There were millions and millions of gallons,” Erin said in a recent speech.
Navajo President Russell Begaye allegedly concurs with Brockovich about a discrepancy between the amount given by the EPA–between 1 and 3 million gallons–and the damage that was done near the mine.
“The Navajo Nation has been culturally and economically devastated by the impact of the Gold King Mine spill, and we need help to address this crisis. We appreciate Ms. Brockovich’s willingness to visit our Nation to witness the damage firsthand and help raise awareness about the plight of our people,” Begaye said in a statement.
The spill–which occurred on August 5, has reportedly threatened the economy and culture of the Navajo people, according to Begaye, who has petitioned the EPA for help in cleaning up the mess. Several irrigation systems have been closed off due to testing, which has left many crops to die in the heat. The inattention and relaxed rules surrounding the spill–and others like it–are not just from an isolated incident, according to Brockovich.
“It’s a terrible disaster, and unfortunately it’s a situation we see playing itself out not only on the Navajo Nation, but across the United States of America,” Erin Brockovich said.