LB - Terry Marxen Chevrolet-Cadillac

Home | Classifieds | Place an Ad | Public Notices | Galleries | Milestones | Contact Us | Subscribe | e-newsletter | RSS | GrandCanyonTourGuide.com
Navajo-Hopi Observer | Flagstaff, Arizona

home : features : latest news August 30, 2016


5/13/2014 10:44:00 AM
Uranium cleanup behind schedule at Tuba City Dump
Federal report states progress has been made but full scope of work to address uranium contamination on Rez not clear
About four million tons of uranium ore was mined on Navajo land between 1944 and 1986. A report released by the United States Government Accountability Office said cleanup at the Tuba City Dump is behind schedule. Photo/EPA
About four million tons of uranium ore was mined on Navajo land between 1944 and 1986. A report released by the United States Government Accountability Office said cleanup at the Tuba City Dump is behind schedule. Photo/EPA

Katherine Locke
Associate Editor


WASHINGTON - A federal report on the status of efforts to clean up uranium contamination on the Navajo Nation released May 5 said while six objectives were met two were not met, including cleanup of the Tuba City Dump.

The United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) conducted the study and implemented the five-year plan after a hearing took place in 2007 that examined the adverse health and environmental impacts affecting the Navajo people after decades of uranium mining and milling around the reservation.

The five federal agencies involved were the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of Energy, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), the Indian Health Service (IHS), and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, in cooperation with tribal agencies and the Navajo Nation Environmental Protection Agency.

The report said progress has been made on the five-year plan to clean up uranium contamination mainly because more money had been allocated to cleanup than in prior years.

"From 2008 through 2012, EPA spent $22 million to test and replace contaminated houses, compared with $1.5 million spent in the preceding five years," the GAO report said.

The report said cleanup goals for the Tuba City Dump were not met because EPA's and BIA's estimated time schedules were optimistic and EPA officials added additional work that extended the time frames.

"BIA experienced project and contract management challenges in conducting work at Tuba City Dump and did not always follow best practices when estimating the schedule for assessment work at the site," the GAO report said. "Those challenges, if not addressed, could affect BIA's ability to meet future targets for cleanup at the site and successfully plan for project resources."

The report found that agencies have made progress in assessing contaminated mines, rebuilding contaminated structures, providing safe water supplies and cleaning up some high priority sites but challenges still remain.

"The pervasive uranium contamination on the Navajo Nation is an American tragedy," said Rep. Henry Waxman, ranking member on the House and Energy Commerce Committee. "GAO's report confirms that federal agencies have made progress in addressing this shameful legacy but that a huge amount of work remains to be done. The federal government has a moral obligation to sustain its commitment to right this wrong."

Agencies have yet to identity the full scope of the remaining work, time frame and costs to address uranium contamination near or on the reservation. Challenges in upcoming years, and for the next five-year plan, come back to money.

"According to EPA officials, funding for EPA's efforts at the Navajo abandoned uranium mines is expected to decrease from funding levels available during the 2008 five-year plan because of overall declining federal resources for cleanup," the GAO report said. "Further, agencies face challenges in engaging tribal communities, in part, because agencies have not always collaborated on their outreach efforts."












    Recently Commented    
Mapmaker continues quest to document indigenous cultures
New documentary focuses on Native American veterans on Navajo Nation
Letter to the editor: Where do children learn to speak fluent Navajo?
Delegate Edmund Yazzie continues work for Thoreau, N.M. clinic
Pirates of the Navajo Nation under attack




Article Comment Submission Form
Comments are not posted immediately. Submissions must adhere to our Use of Service Terms of Use agreement. The email and phone info you provide will not be visible to the public. Rambling or nonsensical comments may not be posted. Comments are limited to 1300 characters or less. In order for us to reasonably manage this feature we may limit your comment entries to five(5) per day.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Required
Last Name:
Required
Telephone:
Required
Email:
Required
Comment:
Required
Passcode:
Required
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.
   


Advanced Search

HSE - We want to hear from you
Find more about Weather in Flagstaff, AZ
Click for weather forecast





Submission links
 •  Submit site feedback or questions

Find It Opinions Features Submit Extras Other Publications
Home | Classifieds | Place an Ad | Public Notices | Galleries | Milestones | Contact Us | Subscribe | e-newsletter | RSS | Site Map
LB - Northland Motorsports

© Copyright 2016 Western News&Info, Inc.® The Navajo-Hopi Observer is the information source for the Navajo and Hopi Nations and Winslow area communities in Northern Arizona. Original content may not be reprinted or distributed without the written permission of Western News&Info, Inc.® Navajo-Hopi Observer Online is a service of WNI. By using the Site, nhonews.com ®, you agree to abide and be bound by the site's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy, which prohibit commercial use of any information on the site. Click here to submit your questions, comments or suggestions. Navajo-Hopi Observer Online is a proud publication of Western News&Info Inc.® All Rights Reserved.

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved