Sunday, June 22, 2008

Cleaning up uranium contamination on Navajo Nation

A group of five federal agencies are launching a five year assessment and cleanup program of uranium contamination on the Navajo Nation.

"EPA, along with the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the Department of Energy (DOE), and the Indian Health Service (IHS) developed a coordinated Five-Year Plan (PDF) address uranium contamination in consultation with Navajo Nation EPA.

"During the next five years EPA will focus on the problems posed by abandoned uranium mines, completing a tiered assessment of over 500 mines and taking actions to address the highest priority mines. As mines that pose risks are discovered, EPA may use Superfund authorities, including the National Priorities List, enforcement against responsible parties, or emergency response to require cleanup."

[Right - abandoned uranium mine, Navajo Nation; credit EPA]

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