History of uranium mining and its wastes, on Navajo land

Uranium cleanup on Navajo Nation complicated by scope, history of problem   19, 2012 By MARYANN BATLLE  Cronkite News “…..

• 1940s: The mining and milling of uranium ore for U.S defense and energy begins on the Navajo Nation.

• 1952: Kerr-McGee Oil Industries Inc. acquires Lukachukai Mountains property and begins mining uranium ore.

• 1954: Kerr-McGee moves its field camp to Transfer Station 1, which includes buildings used as offices and employee housing. Uranium ore was stockpiled on Transfer Stations 1 and 2 before being trucked to a processing mill.

• 1968: Final shipments of uranium ore are removed from the Lukachukai Mountains; activity at Transfer Stations 1 and 2 is believed to cease at this time.

• 1980s: Uranium mining ends on the Navajo Reservation.

• 1993: Navajo speak at a congressional hearing that includes the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other agencies. The EPA offers to help the Navajo Nation with resources from its Superfund program, set up to address abandoned hazardous waste sites.

• 1994: The U.S. EPA conducts a study to determine human exposure to radiation and heavy metals from every abandoned uranium mine on the Navajo Nation.

• 2003 to 2004: Under its Navajo Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Program, the Navajo Nation removes one to two acres from Transfer Station 1 and takes the soil back to the Lukachukai Mountains.

• April 2005: Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley Jr. signs the Diné Natural Resources Protection Act of 2005, banning uranium mining and processing on the reservation.

• October 2005: The Navajo Nation EPA conducts a radiological survey of Transfer Station 2.

• August 2007: A U.S. EPA study finds 520 abandoned uranium mines in the Navajo Nation.

• October 2007: At a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing about the issue in Washington, Navajo witnesses testify about health effects they say they have experienced from uranium.

• June 2008: The U.S. EPA, the Department of Energy, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Indian Health Service and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission release a five-year plan to clean up abandoned uranium mines on the Navajo Nation.

• September to November 2012: The U.S. EPA cleans up two former uranium transfer stations in Cove, Ariz.  http://cronkitenewsonline.com/2012/12/uranium-cleanup-on-navajo-nation-complicated-by-scope-history-of-problem/

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