Appeals court ruling mixed on Tuba City sites

TUBA CITY, AZ - The Navajo Nation's claim against the federal government over a site near Tuba City where groundwater could be contaminated can move forward.

The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., has reversed a lower court's ruling that dismissed the claim regarding a landfill north of U.S. 160.

Congress appropriated $5 million in 2009 to excavate and remove contaminated material from the site, and the Navajo Nation agreed to a release of liability.

A U.S. District Court cited the waiver in dismissing the claim as moot. But the appeals court says the waiver doesn't pertain to groundwater remediation.

The claim has been remanded to the lower court for consideration on the merits.

The appeals court upheld judgments on other claims in the case.

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