Native Americans Object To Ski Resort's Sewage-Into-Snow Plan

08/30/2011 09:32 am ET | Updated Oct 30, 2011

Members of two Native American tribes are objecting to an Arizona ski resort's plan to use sewage to create artificial snow because the spraying of wastewater would desecrate a sacred area of the peak.

Arizona Snowbowl arranged with the city of Flagstaff to use the heavily processed wastewater pumped from the city’s facilities to create artificial snow in order to avoid wasting drinking water. According to the Daily Mail, the plan is to use roughly 180 million gallons of waste to coat several mountains with snow.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the water is safe because it has been treated, but Klee Benally, a Navajo activist, claims the waste will result in “contaminated and desecrated” sacred land, he tells the Daily Mail. The Hopi Tribe filed suit against the city of Flagstaff based on the plans approval earlier this month.

Environmental activists have had a somewhat mixed reaction to the plan. While recycling wastewater is generally regarded as a good idea, the water may contain chemicals from its treatment that could be harmful to the mountain ecosystem.

As tempers flare, this controversy threatens to turn into a real shitstorm.

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