October 20, 2015
Nearly half of the U.S. Native American population lives in 13 western states among an estimated 161,000 abandoned hardrock mines, more than 4,000 of which are abandoned uranium mines. These abandoned mines left behind vanadium, arsenic, copper, lead, manganese, nickel and other metals in water and soil. Such mines have received increased national scrutiny since August, when 3 million gallons of toxic wastewater were accidentally released from the Gold King Mine, an abandoned gold mine in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains.