Black Mesa/ Big Mountain ACTION in Denver November 7th-8th
Come show your solidarity at the action Monday, and come to find out more about this pressing threat to Navajo and Hopi people at the forum today!
For immediate release: Friday, December 4, 2008
Contacts: Wahleah Johns, (928) 637-5281
Enei Begaye, (928) 380-6296
Navajo & Hopi tribal members travel to Denver to meet with the Western Regional Office of Surface Mining as the agency prepares to permit Peabody Coal Company’s Black Mesa Project
Panel Discussion & Press Conference Announcement
WHAT: Panel Discussion, Navajo and Hopi delegation to Denver
*free and open to the public*
WHEN: Sunday Dec. 7th, 1-3 PM (MST)
WHERE: Denver Indian Center, 4407 Morrison Road Denver, CO 80219
WHAT: PRESS CONFERENCE, Navajo & Hopi People Say No to Coal Mining
WHEN: Monday Dec. 8th, 1 PM (MST)
WHERE: Sidewalk in front of Office of Surface Mining - DOWNTOWN Denver - 1999 Broadway, Suite 3320 Denver, CO 80202
Concerned Navajo & Hopi people will rally in downtown Denver on Monday while a small delegation meets with Office of Surface Mining (OSM) personnel at their offices in Denver. OSM is expected to make a final decision – a “Record of Decision” - on Peabody’s proposed Black Mesa Project. The controversial plan includes approval of a “Life-of-mine” permit, expanded mining operations, use of scarce water resources and an unclear buyer of the coal supply, potentially to the Navajo Generating Station in Page, AZ.
After a year of inactivity on the “Black Mesa Project” Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS), the process was restarted on May 2008. Navajo and Hopi citizen’s were given 45 days to comment on a revised Draft EIS and were never offered a public commenting period. Requests for commenting period extensions were denied by OSM as well as requests for OSM to come to Navajo and Hopi lands for question and answer meetings.
The Final EIS states “if OSM approves the LOM revision for the Black Mesa Complex, the area previously associated with the Black Mesa operation (18,857 acres), including associated surface facilities, would be added to the 44,073 acres of the existing OSM permanent permit area for the Black Mesa Complex, bringing the total acres to 62,930, which would be considered as one operation for the purpose of regulation by OSM. This entire area is within Peabody’s existing coal leases. The coal-mining leases with the Hopi Tribe and Navajo Nation provide Peabody the right to produce up to 290 million tons of coal from the Navajo Exclusive Lease Area and up to 380 million tons of coal from the Hopi and Navajo Joint Lease Area for a combined total of 670 million tons.”
Black Mesa Navajo and Hopi residents are concerned about how this project will impact the future of their homelands given the history of Peabody's unwise use of the Navajo Aquifer to transport coal to MGS. Many community members from the Navajo Nation and the Hopi Tribe are extremely disappointed in the lack of public outreach the Office of Surface Mining office and Department of the Interior has carried out through the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) process.
Black Mesa is the ancestral homelands to thousands of Navajo and Hopi families and is regarded as a sacred mountain to the Navajo people and plays an integral role in the cultural survival for the future generations of both the Navajo and Hopi people. Many Navajo and Hopi people stand firm and oppose this mine expansion plan and are organizing to voice their concerns to the western regional office of the Office of Surface Mining in Denver, CO. on Dec. 8, 2008.
Excellent Photo Opportunities Possible