AP Exclusive: Water delivery suspended in Nevada mine battle

Published April 29, 2018, 12:04 AM

by Roel Tibay

By the Associated Press

The owner of an abandoned Nevada mine has suspended the normal bottled water deliveries it’s been providing neighbors since tests in 2004 confirmed a plume of groundwater contaminated area wells.

The abandoned Anaconda open pit mine, source of an underground plume of poisonous water, is seen in an aerial photo in Yerington, Nev., Friday, April 27, 2018. The mine’s owner, Atlantic Richfield, has suspended the normal bottled water deliveries it’s been providing neighbors since tests in 2004 confirmed a plume of groundwater contaminated area wells. The move comes two months after federal regulators backed off plans to add the mine to the list of the most toxic U.S. Superfund sites. A Native American tribe suing Atlantic Richfield says its decision underscores fears that scuttling the proposed listing will slow cleanup efforts. (AP Photo/Scott Sady/ MANILA BULLETIN)
The abandoned Anaconda open pit mine, source of an underground plume of poisonous water, is seen in an aerial photo in Yerington, Nev., Friday, April 27, 2018.  (AP Photo/Scott Sady/ MANILA BULLETIN)

The move outlined in emails obtained by The Associated Press comes two months after federal regulators backed off plans to add the mine to a list of the most toxic U.S. Superfund sites.

A Native American tribe suing the mine’s owner, Atlantic Richfield, says its decision underscores fears that scuttling the proposed listing will slow cleanup efforts at the former Anaconda copper mine site.

Atlantic Richfield stopped its free home delivery of bottled water to Yerington Paiute tribal members this month. It’s instead delivering the water to a site off the reservation for tribal members to pick up.

Both sides blame each other for failing to reach an agreement to resume normal deliveries.

 
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