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Navajo Mine

  • A new study has found inequities in the delivery of federal benefits for Indigenous coal miners in the western U.S. who are suffering from black lung disease. It's helping to shine a light on an under-researched subject.
  • On Friday of last week, a community meeting was held on black lung disease among retired Navajo coal miners in Farmington, New Mexico. The meeting was hosted by Positive Nature Homecare, a home healthcare company which primarily assists uranium miners. Laurence Bekise is a former coal miner who worked at the San Juan and Navajo mines for decades. He says he hopes he doesn’t have black lung from exposure to coal dust in the mines, but that he isn’t sure. And Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser is urging the federal government to keep a close eye on artificial intelligence.
  • A pulmonologist at Miners’ Colfax Medical Center in New Mexico says there’s a statewide shortage of health professionals who are involved in the care of coal miners, especially those who have black lung disease. According to Dr. Akshay Sood, the Miners’ Colfax Medical Center Endowed Chair at the University of New Mexico, he is the state’s only Department of Labor 413(b) physician. That means he’s the only one authorized to evaluate whether or not coal miners in New Mexico are disabled enough by black lung disease to pass those findings on to a claims examiner, so they have a chance to get compensation.
  • In Upper Fruitland, New Mexico, an informational meeting was held on federal benefits available to some miners who have black lung disease. They say coal companies have mistreated them for decades.
  • An informational meeting was held on Friday in Upper Fruitland, New Mexico, on the federal benefits available to retired Navajo miners who have black lung disease. Some of the miners suspect they have black lung from their time working at coal mines like the Navajo Mine in San Juan County. Alex Osif, who is Navajo, Hopi, Pima, and a former miner and black lung benefits counselor, says that miners have been mistreated by coal companies for decades. And several bills dealing with substance use are on the agenda at the state Capitol this week.
  • On the Navajo Nation and surrounding areas, health professionals from National Jewish Health are working with local hospitals and clinics to test retired coal miners for black lung disease. Cecile Rose, a pulmonologist and environmental medicine physician at National Jewish Health, says that black lung, otherwise known as coal workers’ pneumoconiosis, is present among retired miners living in towns like Page, Arizona, and Montrose, Colorado. And three bills expanding and protecting access to reproductive healthcare got final approval from the state Senate Wednesday. One would shield out-of-state patients seeking abortions or gender-affirming care in Colorado.
  • In Farmington, retired coal miners suffering from the effects of black lung disease will hold an informational meeting on opportunities for compensation and other benefits through the Department of Labor on Friday, April 7. The meetings are hosted by Orphelia Thomas, a member of the Navajo Nation and community liaison for Positive Nature Homecare, LLC.
  • Task force on fate of the former Montezuma-Cortez High School building says to "tear it down".Coalition of environmental groups file suit over the 2015…
  • Coalition of environmental groups says it plans to sue over approval of new permits for the Four Corners Power Plant and Navajo Mine.Directors of the…