Here at International Film Festival at Navajo Nation Museum in Window Rock, Ariz. Tomorrow is last day of festival, which is being live streamed at:
PETCCHE GILBERT, ACOMA, MULTICULTURAL ALLIANCE FOR SAFE ENVIRONMENT
The cleanup of uranium mining/milling/waste is a political issue because cities want the uranium for to meet economic needs. And so it takes education. My government, Acoma, does not come out against uranium mining even though they see the negative health impacts, even among their own families. We lobby at NM State Legislature and the priority there is water and so we educate about amount of water used and contaminated water which involves Rio Grande. And if new uranium operation occurs on Mt. Taylor it wud be a waste of water so somehow we ned to create community awareness about legacy of uranium and it’s contamination of surface and underground water, especially in Grants, NM, area. Now it has been found that tailings from Anaconda Mine in Grant, NM, has contaminated underground water of Grants, surrounding Pueblos. The 30 year effort to cleanup Homestake is a failure even with state and federal funding. It has received a lot of attention. Read Gallup Independent stories by Kathy Helms and Albuquerque, NM, which produced a “death map” of community pple that have died because of uranium waste. We have asked for removal of tailings but they ask where and cost. Again the issue is useage of billions of gallons of water. And the groundwater needs to be cleanup. And the wind blow the tailings around. Need cleanup before new mines. Say No to Uranium! There are problems in Utah, Colorado, Lakota. We all need to make everyone aware of uranium and move into alternative energy.
Over 15,000 abandoned uranium miones. My dream to have cleanup efforts that Navajo has in Colorado. We are mobilizing in Colorado. In Colorado we have made baby steps in our progress through community organizing, legal aid, state legislature. 2008 and 2010 got legislation approved for uranium regulations on mining.
SARAH FIELDS, MOAB, UTAH, PROGRAM DIRECTOR FOR URANIUM WATCH, SIERRA CLUB
SW Utah has only uranium mills w Energy Fuels and they want to develop Rocha Honda Mine on Mt. Taylor but good news is they are shutting down mill in six months, Aug. 2014 and also close two mines on north rim of Grand Canyon. They have 8 permitted but non operational mines. And price of urnium down to $38 pounds. So huge uranium boom is over for conventional mining. And that neds to be publicized on Navajo Nation where uranium companies saying it will bring revenues and jobs. No one knows when uranium go up again. It will take millions of dollars to develop Rocha HOnda Mine. And the poor treatment of uranium miners also need to be publicized. These uranium companies don’t have good history of complying with health regulations. In the USA, the Dept of Energy that took over Atomic Energy Commission is just now beginning to study mines that produced ore for weapons. They took responsibility for ore but not mines, which includes Navajo which are part of US EPA and NEPA. So big issue is funding for cleanup in Utah, Colorado, Navajo and other states. So whether produced ore and prelaw which is time before prebonding and regulations, the cleanup needs to happen. It is an ongoing crime. There is no reclamation standard for abandoned mines and current operating uranium mines and mills.
DON YELLOWMAN, FORGOTTEN PEOPLE, TUBA CITY
Hoped Council Delegate Tsinigine still here. He touched on something that got my attention and that is that governors from Az, NM, Utah were contacted by Navajo that if transport uranium then let Navajo Nation know. Yes, I agree and very important. We have flier from California organization that plutonium from Los Alamos, NM, by truck to California and don’t know if Navajo knwes that. We just found that out month ago. So think from Los Alamos, Albuquerque to California where tested and returns to Los Alamos. In my work regarding exposure to uranium. Sarah was at uranium meeting in Flagstaff where couple of young ladies, Mama Bears Against Uranium, reported that low levels of radiation is more dangerous than hard spurts of radiation exposure over time, more diseases, cancer, tumors. Those were apparently information collected from scientists.
You hear about Church Rock and eastern Navajo but not western Navajo. We found mill and we took Chris Shuey and they cudn’t believe readings so high off banks of Little Colorado River. So there are lot of communiities, such as Blue Gap, Monument Valley, Red Lake. There is so much low level that people exposed to. And so I think that needs to be emphasized: why do we endure that? why don’t we feel that we have sacrified enough? We at Bennet Freeze feel that way. But where coal and uranium comes from has nothing. But Phx and California got the energy. We got the jobs but there is also health. I’m at age where I qualify for Downwinders and I go for monthly evaluation from nuclear fallout from 60s and as kids played in abandoned mines. My push to ban uranium permanently, I’m dead serious. I watched TV program with Leona and Jeane on Aljazeer, Leona said former Navajo Prez Peterson Zah is consultant with GE which has its hands in Church Rock, NM, uranium lobbying. I wonder why former Navajo political appointees work for corporations. Prez Shelly spent time with us before elected and came to inauguration where saw URI banners all over inauguration. What is the message? Those are mixed messages. We are being courted by companies. And former Prez Albert Hale lobbying for HRI in Church Rock. And we in western Navajo are dealing with him on proposed Escalade. Election year coming us so Navajo people need to start questioning elected officials. Glad Leona raised that point on Aljazeer. (Council Delegate Tsinigine returns) Greetings Brother, I got information that plutonium being transported on Interstate 40. Are you aware of that? we need to address and make public aware.