US Census Bureau

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency tightened its ozone standard yesterday. State officials say that puts many counties in Arizona out of compliance. 


Waste from the Gold King Mine in Southwest Colorado continues to flow nearly two months after millions of gallons of the toxic material were released into local waterways. Now the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has a new plan to help clean it up, by installing a water treatment system near the mouth of the mine. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports.

Earth Notes: The Four Corners’ Methane Problem

Sep 30, 2015

The San Juan River Basin has a rich human history, visible in places like the ancient pueblo ruins of Chaco Canyon. But it is different relict of a much older history, rooted late in the Age of Dinosaurs, that is drawing attention to the basin these days: methane gas. 

Donovan Quintero/Navajo Times

Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye testified Wednesday before the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs about the impacts of the Gold King Mine spill on the tribe. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, he’s concerned about the spill’s environmental and economic impact on Navajo farmers.

President Begaye said the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency waited 48 hours before informing Navajo Nation officials of the incident. He said the agency’s response lacks transparency and creates mistrust.

The Nature Conservancy

The director of the Navajo Nation Environmental Protection Agency has called on Congress to intervene in the tribe’s recovery from last month’s Gold King Mine spill. Navajo officials say the federal government has failed to provide adequate relief to residents and farmers. 

State environment officials say tourists heading to Lake Powell for the Labor Day holiday need not worry about the quality of the water following a mine spill.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

A proposed federal regulation would limit the pharmaceutical chemicals reaching the nation’s waterways.

The rule will affect hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, and long-term care centers. They’ll be banned from flushing pharmaceuticals classified as hazardous waste down the drain. That includes chemotherapy drugs, blood thinners, nicotine and certain nutritional supplements. 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released the results of dozens of water tests following the Gold King Mine spill last month. The tests were conducted at sites on Animas and San Juan rivers, other tributaries, on Lake Powell, and near the City of Page as recently as Aug. 25. 


The U.S. Interior Department will lead a review of the Colorado mine spill that tainted rivers in three western states.

AP/Matt York

Arizona environmental officials say they don’t expect the Gold King Mine spill to have any negative impacts to the state’s watershed. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, they say Lake Powell will likely disperse the waste made up of several heavy metals.