Luján Applauds EPA Plan to Cleanup Largest Abandoned Uranium Mine on Navajo Nation

Statement

By:  Ben Lujan, Jr.
Date: Sept. 29, 2011
Location: Santa Fe, NM

Congressman Ben Ray Luján applauded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) announcement today that it has approved a plan to clean up the Northeast Church Rock Mine. The mine is the largest uranium mine on the Navajo Nation, and its cleanup is of the highest priority.

"The legacy of uranium mining continues to be felt across the Navajo Nation to this day," Congressman Luján said. "The EPA's announcement is welcome news and a critical step in addressing the impact of uranium mining on our communities. The completion of this plan is the result of years of hard work by members of the Navajo Nation and the Red Water Pond Road community, and I look forward to the day when this land is restored."

The cleanup, using the most stringent uranium mine cleanup standard in the country, will remove approximately 1.4 million tons of radium and uranium contaminated soil from a site that operated as a uranium ore mine from 1967 to 1982.