Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

July 16, 2015

Nihigaal Bee Iina on Big Mountain: Peabody Coal's Abuse of Navajo Aquifer Water

Dine' Walkers to the Sacred Mountains give voice to the truth of Peabody Coal and its abuse on Black Mesa 

By Nihigaal bee Iina
Censored News

Yesterday we were invited out to Big Mountain to butcher and hear stories from families who have been resisting relocation and fighting to maintain Diné life ways. The 20,000 Diné people who reside on the Black Mesa plateau live without running water and/or electricity. Since 1968, Peabody Energy has operated two coal mines on Black Mesa (mining over 400 million tons of coal) using BILLIONS of gallons of water each year from the Navajo Aquifer for the past 47 years to provide CHEAP energy and water to the entire southwest. 
The Navajo Aquifer, which lies beneath Black Mesa is water that naturally exceeds the Environmental Protection Agency's drinking water standards. Peabody's abuse of the Navajo Aquifer and Black Mesa has resulted in the eradication of our sacred life giving seeps and springs within the region. Peabody Energy is a multi-national corporation and the largest privately owned coal company in the world, but it only pays 1/8th of a PENNY for every gallon of water they use to the Navajo Nation government. 
The Diné who live on Black Mesa pay at least 8 times that amount for the same gallon of water. Currently, Peabody Energy uses 1,500 acre feet of potable water annually for dust abatement at the Kayenta Coal Mine. (1 acre feet of water = 326,000 gallons) 1,500x326,000=486,000,000 gallons a year to SPRAY WATER ON DIRT ROADS!
This is an irresponsible usage of our precious water. If water is life, then Peabody condemns all means for existence on Black Mesa. Tó éí iiná áte. Dził Yíjiin éí nihimá áte. Táá ałtso biyázhí da'needłí.

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