Proposed Navajo legislation: Demonstration in-situ Uranium project at Church Rock, NM

Navajo Council Delegate Leonard Tsosie addresses Grassroots Listening Session on Renewal/Sustainable Energy Solutions at the Navajo Nation Museum in Window Rock, Ariz., on April 15, 2013. Photo by Marley Shebala

Navajo Council Delegate Leonard Tsosie addresses Grassroots Listening Session on Renewal/Sustainable Energy Solutions at the Navajo Nation Museum in Window Rock, Ariz., on April 15, 2013. Photo by Marley Shebala

The language of this proposed Navajo Council’s Resources & Development Committee legislation to approve a Demonstration Project for In-Situ Uranium mining at Church Rock, N.M., by URI (Uranium Resources Inc.) and to create a RDC Subcommittee of two RDC members to work with the Navajo Nation Department of Justice, Navajo Nation Division of Natural Resources and URI “to draft the terms of an agreement that results in mutual gains for both the Navajo Nation and URI considering the right of way and surface use provided in the 1929 Deed File No. 35005 and potential ramifications that exist for both parties absent a mutual agreement for moving forward” is pretty strange…and borders on shady.

Usually, I’ll receive an email from the Navajo Nation Legislation Services about proposed legislation that has been posted to the Navajo Nation Council’s website for the mandated five-day public comment period. But I found this proposed legislation on my own after I got a feeling that I should check the Council’s website for proposed legislation. Thank Creator that I followed my instincts.

The main sponsor of LEGISLATION 0373-13 is Council Delegate Leonard Tsosie, who is also a Resources & Development Committee member. The co-sponsor is RDC Chairperson Katherine Benally.

I’m not surprised that Tsosie is the sponsor because he was wanting to amend the Navajo Nation Energy Policy by lifting the ban on uranium mining/milling. I am surprised that Benally is the co-sponsor because during work sessions with President Shelly’s Energy Development Task Force on the Energy Policy, she was very clear about her opposition to uranium mining, milling and other activities because of the uranium legacy in her communities. Benally represents the western reservation communities of Chilchinbeto, Dennehotso and Kayenta, which is about 15 miles west of Monument Valley. Tsosie represents the eastern reservation communities of Baca-Prewitt, Casamero Lake, Counselor, Littlewater, Ojo Encino, Pueblo Pintado, Torreon and Whitehorse.

According to proposed LEGISLATION 0373-13, its was posted at 5:24 pm today, Dec. 16, 2013, and the five-day public comment period ends on Dec. 21, 2013, at 5:24 p.m. But the law also allows for public comment up until the legislation is approved.

The title for LEGISLATION 0373-13 is “AN ACTION RELATING TO RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT; ACKNOWLEDGING THE RIGHT-OF-WAY AND SURFACE USE BY URANIUM RESOURCES, INC., OF ITS CHURCHROCK PROPERTIES LICENSED BY THE U.S. NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION LICENSE NO. SUA-1580; AUTHORIZING A SUBCOMMITTEE.”

HERE IS THE WEB ADDRESS FOR PROPOSED LEGISLATION 0373-13:

3 thoughts on “Proposed Navajo legislation: Demonstration in-situ Uranium project at Church Rock, NM

  1. Dear Friends, I just remembered that I had a report on the in-situ uranium mining disaster in South Texas. I made a copy to keep because I was afraid it would disappear off the web.
    http://www.mining-law-reform.info/TexasUraniumReport.pdf

    I found another report on the site that is relevant also:
    http://www.txpeer.org/toxictour/uri.html
    Peer is the Group of Federal Employees for environmental responsibility (they remain anonymous so they won’t lose their jobs)

    Nancy

  2. I think any new mining is against Navajo (no uranium) law. It would be a great danger to the community water resource and mix contamination with an already dangerously contaminated legacy area. Giving permission to a failing company (check their financial reports) would be unwise. Permission would have certain liabilities that would endanger the Tribes financial responsibilities to clean up the site after more contamination occurs. Check their records for cleanup of sites in Texas. This is not good. Thank you.

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