Friday, September 17, 2010
Maybe this time around, the Government, BIA ( Hey Mr McCain! Your'e on the BIA board and it is re-election coming round soon!); Big Business....and more can get their act together and do it right this time!
The US Environmental Protection Agency has entered into two enforcement actions, both of which will result in the cleaning up of uranium contamination on the Navajo Nation and Hopi reservations, according to a press release issued by the EPA on Sept. 13.
In one settlement, Rio Algom Mining LLC, a subsidiary of Canadian corporation BHP Billiton, has agreed to control releases of radium (a decay product of uranium) from the Quivira Mine Site, near Gallup, N.M. The company will also conduct a comprehensive investigation of the levels of contamination at the site.
Under the second settlement, the U.S. Department of Interior's Bureau of Indian Affairs will begin a comprehensive investigation of the levels of uranium and other contaminants in the waste, soils and groundwater at a landfill in Tuba City. It will also evaluate the feasibility of a range of cleanup actions.
From 1944 to 1986, millions of tons of uranium ore were mined from these lands. While the mines are now closed, the contamination from some 500 of them remains, as do homes built with contaminated mine waste and contaminated water wells. Potential health effects from this contamination include lung cancer, bone cancer and impaired kidney function.
In January 2008, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform directed five federal agencies (Environmental Protection Agency, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Department of Energy, Indian Health Services and Nuclear Regulatory Commission) to work together to address this problem. They developed a five-year plan to address contaminated homes, wells, mine sites, mills and dumps. The recently announced cleanup efforts are part of this plan.
The coordinated plan has already resulted in the replacement of 14 homes, the assessment of more than 200 mines and funding for water systems that will serve over 3,000 people with clean water, Jared Blumenfeld, Regional Administrator for EPA's Pacific Southwest Region, said in the release.
Posted by Falmouth Institute at 1:00 PM
Posted by Lakotalady at 10:41 AM