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Erin Brockovich Tours Navajo Nation in Wake of EPA Mine Spill

Environmental activist Erin Brockovich, subject of the 2000 Julia Roberts film bearing her story and name, is scheduled to tour the Navajo Nation Tuesday to see the aftermath of last month’s Colorado mine spill.

The Denver Post reports the Environmental Protection Agency accidentally released roughly three million gallons of wastewater into a creek from the Gold King Mine on Aug. 5, which contaminated a tributary of the San Animas River in Colorado, and emptied into the San Juan River in New Mexico.

Brockovich will tour the San Juan River with Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye to witness the damage firsthand, which leaders declare has put its people on the brink of economic disaster.

“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,” Begaye told the Post. “We appreciate Ms. Brockovich’s willingness to visit our Nation to witness the damage first hand and help raise awareness about the plight of our people.”

The Environmental Protection Agency has reportedly been under intense scrutiny by Navajo Nation officials since the mishap at Gold King Mine, and Begaye has been petitioning this week for the Federal Emergency Management Agency to step in and provide some form of relief.

The San Juan River runs 215 miles along the Navajo Nation.

Brockovich, who lacked a formal education in law, stepped into the spotlight in the 1990s when she helped investigate and form a case against the Pacific Gas and Electric Company, after groundwater contaminated the Southern California town of Hinkley.

Since the release of her biopic, Brockovich has hosted ABC’s Challenge America with Erin Brockovich and Final Justice on Zone Reality.

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