Navajo Families Help Create Five-Year Uranium Cleanup Plan

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 Back in 2006, various tribal and federal agencies dealing with remediating uranium mining on the reservation got together to set goals. The first five-year plan ended in 2012 with only some of these goals met and now the agencies are meeting again, this time with Navajo families involved, to set goals for a second five-year plan.

Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly opened up the workshop on Tuesday with a statement that the agencies "still have a long way ahead" to deal with a variety of problems stemming from the uranium mining on the reservation in the 1940s, 50s and 60s.

The tribe still doesn't know, he said, how these mining operations and uranium milling operations affected the underground water systems, or the homes of Navajo families who lived within a quarter mile of these mills.

Hundreds of Navajo families also built their homes using material from the mining and mill operations. The tribe and the federal government are still in the process of tearing these homes down and relocating Navajo families into safer homes.

Federal and tribal agencies need to continue to clear up the site of the Church Rock, N.M. mill site as well as the Tuba City, Ariz. dump. Read more here.