Coal mines are known for producing toxic fumes and water-borne toxins, but not necessarily harmful ones.
The coal industry says the pollution from a nearby coal mine is causing cancer in miners and sickening them.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said it has banned the coal industry from the state’s water supply because of the health problems caused by the mine, which is located in the Mojave Desert.
“As we work to mitigate the health impacts, we are also taking a look at the impact of the water pollution on the health of the miners, the miners’ families, the community, the environment, the workers and on our children and grandchildren,” EPA administrator Scott Pruitt said in a statement.
The agency is also calling for a “more comprehensive review” of water quality standards at the site.
The company that operates the mine is a unit of the UMW Energy, a unit owned by the company behind the giant coal mining plant in Kentucky.
Coal mining in Arizona is a major source of carbon emissions, as well as air pollution, and it’s a concern for many residents in the state.
The EPA said the mine had been found to be leaking water into streams and groundwater, and to be polluting groundwater in the nearby town of Maricopa.
It said the water could also be releasing pollutants into the surrounding air.
The UMW had been working with the Navajo Nation and other tribal governments to determine how to best address the issue, the agency said.
The mine was originally set to open in 2020, but that date has been pushed back to 2022.
It’s still unclear how long the mine will remain open, however.
The Arizona Public Service Commission, which oversees the mining industry, said the mines have been working diligently to address the health issues.
The commission said it is currently reviewing the agency’s water quality standard and is expected to release a new report in January.
The Navajo Nation issued a statement Tuesday saying it is working with EPA officials to develop a comprehensive water quality plan.
Navajo officials said the Navajo and federal government have also been working together on developing a plan for the water quality issue.
The tribe has been concerned about the health effects caused by coal mining for years, and said it hopes the EPA can address the problem.
“We are hopeful that the EPA is able to take action on this issue,” said Tovah Pritchett, the tribal council’s chief water resource manager.