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Environmental justice and environmental racism

This is a topic-guide for environmental justice and environmental racism. Inside it you will find brief introductions to the topic, helpful videos, suggested readings, and links to Iowa State University Library resources.

Famous Cases

Gold King Mine Blowout

In 2015, an attempt by the EPA to manage an abandoned gold mine resulted in the release of acid mine drainage and wastewater into a watershed, poisoning everything and everyone downstream. Affected populations include citizens of the Navajo Nation, Colorado, Utah, and New Mexico. Gold King is a recent example of the danger abandoned mines pose. There are many other mines in the United States that discharge harmful wastewater and a long history of mining-caused environmental harm to indigenous peoples.

Uranium Mining and the Navajo Nation

The Gold King Mine blowout is far from the only example of environmental injustice affecting the Navajo Nation. There is a long history of mining and exploitation disproportionately affecting the people and lands of the Navajo Nation.

Suggested resources

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Erin Thomas
she/her/hers
Contact:
150 Parks Library
Iowa State University
515 294-9886