NEHA December 2022 Journal of Environmental Health

32 Volume 85 • Number 5 A D VANC EME N T O F T H E SCIENCE in this article include the old Howardville High School (Figure 6); an inactive cotton gin (Figure 7); an active auto gasoline and service station with old fuel tank trucks stored behind the facility (Figure 8); and a vacant historic sharecropper home that is typical of many abandoned residential structures in the Bootheel (Figure 9). Brownfields in Navajo Nation and Northern Arizona Our second U.S. brownfields tour was in the Navajo Nation Chapters of Chinle and Red Lake and in Holbrook, in Northern Arizona. Navajo Nation extends across the Four Corners region of Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Colorado and encompasses 27,000 mi2. Also known as Diné Bikéyah, or Navajoland, the Navajo Nation reservation is larger than 10 of the 50 states in the U.S. (Navajo Nation Government, 2022). Demographic information for the Navajo Nation and Holbrook communities is summarized in Table 2. Chinle, Arizona The Chinle Chapter is a small city in Apache County that is home to Canyon de Chelly. The canyon historically was home to Puebloan and Hopi before Navajo settled there (National Park Service, 2021). As shown in Table 2, approximately 54% of Chinle residents are in poverty (U.S. Census Bureau, 2020c) compared with 32% of Apache County residents (U.S. Census Bureau, 2021a). Chinle residents have a median household income of $30,667 (U.S. Census Bureau, 2020c), which is comparable to that for Apache County ($33,967) (U.S. Census Bureau, 2021a). The My Environment website from U.S. EPA for Chinle, Arizona, in Apache County did not indicate any known land reuse or brownfields sites (U.S. EPA, 2020b). As previously discussed, however, the My Environment website only lists sites that have received funding from U.S. EPA for assessment or cleanup. Navajo tribal oœcials are aware of several brownfields in Chinle that have not received funding to perform assessments or cleanup (A. McCabe, personal communication, June 19, 2019). Sites we visited in Chinle included vacant residential and commercial properties, two petroleum leak sites, and a vacant fast-food restaurant. Chinle sites included in this article include vacant parcels that are under consideration for redevelopment as a crafts village for artist vendors (Figure 10). Navajo, New Mexico The Red Lake Chapter is in Navajo, New Mexico, in McKinley County. It is rural and was developed as a company town around the now-defunct 103-acre Navajo Forest Products Industry (NFPI) site. Approximately 60.5% of Navajo residents are in poverty (U.S. Census Bureau, 2020e), compared with 32.0% of McKinley County residents (U.S. Census Bureau, 2021a; Table 2). The My Environment website indicated two brownfields in the city of Navajo, New Mexico, including the NFPI site that is featured in this article (U.S. EPA, 2020c; Figure 11). The NFPI site currently is undergoing extensive site assessment by the Navajo Nation Environmental Protection Agency. Debris has been removed from the site, but there are large areas in and around the site that have wood chip fill that could be contaminated with asbestos. Much of the soil is also contaminated with benzene and naphthalene (P. Maples, personal communication, June 19, 2019). Holbrook, Arizona The City of Holbrook, Arizona, in Navajo County is along Route 66 and is considered the gateway to the Petrified Forest (City of Holbrook, n.d.). Holbrook is a former tourist town that has a large corridor of vacant gasoline and automobile service stations, along with old residential and commercial buildings. As shown in Table 2, Holbrook’s median household income is $45,106—slightly higher than the overall Navajo County median ($43,140)—and 20.9% of residents are in poverty, which is slightly lower than the rest of Navajo County (23.3%). Sites that we visited in Holbrook included petroleum brownfields and vacant commercial and residential buildings, including an old automoDemographic Indicators for Navajo Nation and Holbrook Areas of Arizona and New Mexico Indicator Chinle, Arizona Apache County, Arizona Holbrook, Arizona Navajo County, Arizona Navajo, New Mexico McKinley County, New Mexico Population 4,291 65,623 5,073 108,147 1,818 71,780 Median household income (in 2020 dollars) $30,667 $33,967 $45,106 $43,140 $25,323 $36,179 Persons in poverty (%, below 100% of poverty level) 53.5 32.4 20.9 23.3 60.5 32.0 Race (%) White 3.5 22.6 50.6 51.1 0.6 15.7 Black or African American 0.7 0.6 7.1 1.1 0.1 0.6 American Indian and Alaska Native 91.8 74.5 27.9 44.6 95.4 79.9 Hispanic or Latino 0.4 7.1 30.0 12.1 1.3 14.6 Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2020c, 2020d, 2020e, 2021a. TABLE 2