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Atlantic Richfield, owner of the former Anaconda copper mine, was suddenly halting the free home delivery of bottled water it’s provided since 2004 to about 100 residences on a neighboring Native American reservation in Nevada where scientists continue to track the movement of a poisonous plume of groundwater.

The Yerington Paiute Tribe alleges the abrupt change was retaliation for its fight against a recent move that puts the state and the company in charge of cleaning up the mine site instead of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Over the tribe’s staunch objections, the EPA in February backed off plans in the works for years to formally elevate the mine to priority status on a list of the most contaminated Superfund sites.

The mine’s previous owner, Arimetco, left behind a 90-million-gallon (341-million-liter) toxic stew of uranium, arsenic and other chemicals — enough to cover 80 football fields 10 feet (3 meters) deep — when it abandoned the site in 2000, according to the EPA.

Now owned by BP, Atlantic Richfield paid $19.5 million to settle a class-action lawsuit in 2015 brought by about 700 nontribal neighbors of the mine, about 65 miles (105 kilometers) southeast of Reno. The neighbors had accused past owners of conspiring to cover up the extent of groundwater contamination. The company continues a legal battle with the tribe.

The emphasis list Pruitt issued last year — a lesser category of priority sites that didn’t exist under prior administrations — was roundly criticized by environmentalists and others who said it was an attempt to divert attention from the Trump administration’s proposed 30 percent cut in the EPA’s budget.

But Dietrick McGinnis, a longtime environmental consultant for the tribe, said the new timelines the EPA released in conjunction with the February agreement to defer any priority Superfund listing indicate groundwater cleanup will be delayed by more than four years.

Sandoval announced in 2016 he was reluctantly dropping the state’s opposition because the listing would make $31 million in federal cleanup funds available. But he reversed course in July when Atlantic Richfield offered to provide that money instead, and persuaded the EPA to defer any listing.

Tribal members “have jurisdiction over their own land, air and water resources, and only the EPA has been directed by the U.S. Congress to implement federal environmental statutes on tribal lands,” the National Congress of American Indians said in a resolution attached to one of Thom’s complaints to the EPA on March 7.

On Friday, several volunteers helped a delivery driver for Alhambra Waters unload several tons of water at a market off the reservation about 2 miles (3 kilometers) north of the mine — most of it in 5-gallon (19-liter) jugs but also in 24-packs of thousands of plastic bottles. The volunteers then loaded the supplies into a tribe-owned trailer and hand-delivered the water door-to-door to homes spread across a few square miles.

Greg Lavoto, head of the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection, said his agency respects tribal sovereignty and looks forward to a resolution of the access issue “so that bottled water delivery to homes and groundwater monitoring can continue uninterrupted.”