Navajo Council RDC Subcommittee meeting on uranium

Here at Navajo council Resources & Development Committee’s Subcommi ttee on a Proposed agreement between the Navajo Nation and URI/Uranium Resources Inc. of Texas for URI to conduct a demonstration project involving In-Situ Uranium Mining near Church Rock, N.M. Before I go any further, please excuse all typos and grammar errors and misspelling because I’m typing as fast as I can from this meeting at the Navajo Nation Museum in Window Rock, Ariz. RDC Subcommittee members are Subcommittee Chairperson Leonard Tsosie and Vice Chairperson Leonard Pete.

The meeting kicked off with a very strong back and forth between RDC Subcommittt Chairperson Leonard Tsosie and some members of the Church Rock community that have opposed uranium mining since forever.

TSOSIE
What are standards for cleanup?

NAVAJO
1.24 picokuroes of radium plus background and agreed for Church Rock and Sky Line and Hwy 160 cleanup in western agency. we have cleanups throughout reservation. Mariana Lake cleanup near Tsosie’s communities. Casamera Lake, Cameron area cleanups and Cove, Smith Lake which are all in New Mexico.

TSOSIE
Using these standards, which one fully remediated and cost?

NAVAJO DEPT OF JUSTICE
Across from Tuba City mill, and cost $5 million. Total amount of cubic yards was 5,000. It was disposed of and completely taken off site to Grand Junction, Colo.

TSOSIE
So looking at that cost, what is estimate for total Navajo reservation?

NDOJ
No, cuz no grasp of total material. only is northeast Church Rock and Sky Line. in Church rock, take everything off site, there is an estimate. Now at Keer McGee site. And not touching site of Keer McGee? Have GE on the hook but not finalized claim against PRP. Didn’t have the money and enforcement not complete.

TSOSIE
Out there and because of checkerboard only working certain areas so dust blows back to area where remediated. “So rather than do little at a time and blows back. Ludicricous!”

NDOJ
Asked for $500 million from Congress and got $100 million from USEPA for entire reservation. So agree with that ludicrous.

LEONARD PETER
Can what URI wants to do be separated?

NDOJ
No, because of Dine Resources Protection Act which mandates taht all past uranium activities are remedied before any future uranium processing takes place so from NDOJ difficult to separate issues. Can we in that framework get SEction 17 cleaned up as URI-HRI wants to do and allow URI-HRI in situ in SEction 8? We can talk about. First urnaium mine 1948 and last one was early 1982.

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