Native News Network Staff in Native Challenges. Discussion »
FLAGSTAFF, ARIZONA After a decade of legal battles and opposition from American Indian tribes, environmental groups and concerned citizens, Arizona Snowbowl ski area has started making fake snow from Flagstaff's treated sewage effluent.
Surprise it's yellow!
The Snowbowl Now has a Yellowish Urine Tint
Arizona Snowbowl officials confirmed the ski resort began making snow on Sunday night.
The San Francisco Peaks are considered sacred to the American Indian tribes in America's Southwest. They consider Arizona Snowbowl the desecration of the area, and were particularly upset that the project caused the clear-cutting 74 acres of rare alpine forest and laying pipelines for the transportation of 180,000,000 gallons of recycled wastewater per year from Flagstaff for artificial snowmaking.
Snowbowl is set to be the only ski area in the world to make snow from 100 percent treated sewage effluent. This action has raised serious concerns from community and environmental groups due to potential risks to human health and the sensitive mountain ecosystem.
Perhaps, it should be dubbed "Toiletbowl Snowbowl."
“Snowbowl is clearly disregarding public health by not fulfilling their requirement to have signs posted that the fake snow is made from treated sewage and that it must not be consumed. I checked the entire area where kids ski and learn to ski and I could not find any warning signs.”
stated Rudy Preston, former board member of the Flagstaff Activist Network.
“There were none posted on the children's ski lifts either,”
Although Snowbowl manager JR Murray has stated that treated sewage would be " cleaner than the snow falling out of the sky" the yellow colored snow clearly indicates that something is wrong.
The wastewater, which is treated to Flagstaff's highest standard, has been proven to contain endocrine disrupting chemicals.
State law mandates that it is illegal for anyone to consume snow made from treated sewage effluent. Ingestion pathways include the eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and skin. Additionally, any "direct reuse" cannot even have the "potential for ingestion." While Snowmaking is considered legal, the "direct reuse" of this treated sewage effluent is in fact "skiing" and ADEQ is ignoring their own laws when it allowed Snowbowl to make snow (Arizona Administrative Code: R-18-9-704).
“Despite the obvious health risks, you would have thought that respect for our Indigenous brothers and sisters would have been enough to stop this project years ago, treated sewage for snowmaking is an absolute affront to Indigenous Nations that revere the Peaks as holy and I for one choose to respect their wishes and will no longer ski at Arizona Snowbowl.”
stated Rudy Preston.
On November, 14, the Hopi Tribe filed a new lawsuit and for injunctive relief due to threats reclaimed water poses to an endangered plant that is found nowhere else in the world but on the Peaks. The Hopi Tribe requested an injunction to be placed on snowmaking activities until consultation was completed with both the US Fish and Wildlife and Department of Agriculture. The court has yet to issue a response.
posted December 26, 2012 7:20 am est