Posts belonging to Category Nuclear



STEALTH BILL UNDERMINES NAVAJO URANIUM BAN BY ALLOWING ISL ‘DEMONSTRATION’ IN CHURCHROCK SCHEDULED FOR VOTE MONDAY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Dec. 23, 2013

 

Contact: Leona Morgan

Sierra Club Front End Working Group

leonamorgan@icloud.com

505-879-8547

 

STEALTH BILL UNDERMINES NAVAJO URANIUM BAN BY ALLOWING ISL ‘DEMONSTRATION’ IN CHURCHROCK SCHEDULED FOR VOTE MONDAY


Council Delegate Leonard Tsosie proposes legislation to allow in situ leach uranium mining

 

Chilchinbeto, Ariz. — Proposed legislation in front of a Navajo Nation Council committee on Monday would allow the operation of a controversial uranium mining project in Churchrock, despite the Nation’s 2005 ban on uranium mining and significant public opposition.

The proposed bill, sponsored by Council Delegate Leonard Tsosie (Whitehorse Lake) and Delegate Chairperson Katherine Benally (Kayenta), would allow Uranium Resources, Inc., (URI) to construct a “demonstration project” that would extract uranium ore by using in-situ leach mining techniques, known as ISL mining.

The legislation, if approved, at a specially scheduled meeting on Dec. 23, would create a right-of-way to access URI’s proposed mine site, located on 160 acres of privately owned land, called Section 8, which is surrounded by BLM and tribal trust land and Section 17 tribal trust land, near Churchrock and Pinedale. As a condition of mining uranium there, URI must transport the uranium out of the Navajo Nation for processing, which would entail trucking radioactive materials through multiple communities and across tribal trust lands.

“This legislation is being pushed through on short notice and is essentially a back-door method to open up the Navajo Nation to uranium mining and attack the Diné Natural Resources Protection Act,” said Leona Morgan, a community organizer with the Sierra Club Nuclear-Free Front End Working Group.

“For years, URI has been trying to build its ISL mine and find a way to defy the will of the people. Any major decisions that come out of our central tribal government should always have prior and informed consent from all impacted people and communities,” said Jonathan Perry, Eastern Navajo Diné Against Uranium Mining President. “Everyone should have an equal opportunity to speak on this issue. Haven’t we suffered enough? We must always remember that future generations will have to live with what we do today. I urge our elected officials to consider that when it comes time to state their positions on this proposed legislation.”

The Navajo Nation Resources and Development Committee is scheduled to vote on Legislation 0373-13 at a special meeting 9 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 23, at the Chapter House in Chilchinbetoh, Ariz., following a five-day public comment period, which ended on Saturday, Dec. 21. The legislation is then reviewed and will require final approval from the president.

“This is an action from a few elected officials that violates existing Navajo Nation policy and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,” Morgan said. “It is unacceptable. We are urging community members to speak out against it and take action.  Łéétsoh (uranium) is a poison and mining it is an improper and dangerous use of our water and natural resources.”

Morgan will speak at a joint press conference with Diné CARE scheduled for 12 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 23, in front of the Navajo Nation Council Chambers in Window Rock.

ISL mining is done by injecting a sodium bicarbonate solution deep below the surface into an aquifer that bears uranium. The resulting mixture is pumped to the surface and extracted. Waste water from the operation is then injected back underground. URI plans to haul the radioactive mixture to a processing plant in Texas to produce concentrated uranium known as yellowcake.

URI, formerly known as Hydro Resources, Inc., has contaminated ground water at its ISL uranium mines in Texas. The proposed mine near Churchrock would involve the development of dozens of extraction and injection wells. On the surface of the mine, an industrial plant would be built in the southeast corner of Section 8 to process and package the uranium-laden slurry.

Until now, construction of the mine has been blocked not only by the the Diné Natural Resources Protection Act, which prohibits all uranium mining, but by the lack of a formal access agreement to URI’s private property inholding. A pre-existing agreement requires URI to clean up any prior uranium contamination on Sections 8 and 17 prior to starting new mining operations.

Community members have also fiercely opposed the mine’s development and the impacts to public health and the environment for more than 20 years.

Don Yellowman, president of the Forgotten People, issued a proclamation against proposed Bill 0373-13.

“This bill will continue to perpetuate the same destruction and devastation on our Dine families and communities. This bill is another genocidal act that continues to perpetuate evil across our motherlands,” said Yellowman. “I pray to our ancestors and all holy beings that our council delegates and other leaders (decision makers) turn away from evil acts and say no more to dirty business, politics and energy. And I challenge you to go beyond and say no to this legislation and any other legislation that further destroys our land, water and air.”

 

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For more information:

Don Yellowman’s proclamation:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k4ykpghypck

NNC Legislation 0373-13:

http://www.navajonationcouncil.org/Legislations/2013/Dec/0373-13.pdf

Special RDC Meeting Agenda:

http://www.navajonationcouncil.org/MeetingSchedules/2013/DEC/23DEC2013_RDC_Special_Mtg_Proposed_Agenda.pdf

Diné Natural Resources Protection Act of 2005:

http://www.navajocourts.org/Resolutions/CAP-18-05.pdf

Radioactive Materials Transportation Act of 2012:

http://www.navajonationepa.org/Pdf%20files/UraniumTaskForce/CF_18_12.pdf

NN Energy Policy of 2013:

http://www.nncouncil.org/uploads/directory/32fe3a909cee406fbad3148b277ca031/0276_13.pdf

 

SIGN OUR PETITION: Do not start uranium mining on Mt. Taylor

To be delivered to: Joe Norrell, Acting Forest Supervisor, U.S. Forest Service

PETITION STATEMENT: I urge you to protect New Mexico’s environment and public health by opposing the Roca Honda uranium mine on Mt. Taylor. Please choose the “No Action” Alternative in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement.

PETITION BACKGROUND:For the first time in 30 years, New Mexico may open its doors to uranium mining. Uranium mining can cause permanent damage to our water supplies through the leaching of radioactive materials into groundwater, not to mention the fact that it takes millions of gallons of water a day to operate a mine. Worse yet—they want to mine on Mt. Taylor, a mountain sacred to the Navajo and Pueblos and the highest point in the Cibola National Forest. Allowing mining anywhere near the mountain would be devastating.Please sign the petition below and show the U.S. Forest Service that New Mexicans do not want this type of destruction in our state. Public comments are open until May 14.

Sign the petition at: http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/do-not-start-uranium.fb28?source=s.fb.ty&r_by=1259323.

Laramide Receives Draft EIS & Updates Permitting Status for La Jara Mesa Project

TORONTO, May 22, 2012 /CNW/ – Laramide Resources Ltd. (“Laramide” or the “Company”) is pleased to provide the following update to shareholders on the permitting status of the La Jara Mesa project in Grants, New Mexico. On May 18, 2012, the U.S. Forest Service (“USFS”) issued a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (“DEIS”) for the Company’s La Jara Mesa uranium project. The issuance of the DEIS represents a significant milestone in the mine permit process, which would allow underground development activities and mine production at the La Jara Mesa project.

With the completion of this stage of USFS’s review and notice of availability of the DEIS published in the Federal Register, there will now be a public review of the DEIS for a 60 day comment period ending 17 July 2012. Progress will continue with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review process of La Jara Mesa, which will ultimately lead to the completion of the Final Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision (ROD) expected later this year.

A copy of the DEIS can be found at Laramide’s website (www.laramide.com or through the following link: http://www.fs.fed.us/nepa/nepa_project_exp.php?project=25654

Permitting Process to Date

To initiate and support the permitting process, Laramide submitted a Plan of Operations for the La Jara Mesa Project to the USFS in April of 2008 for underground development and mine production. As a result of the Plan of Operations, the USFS determined the need for an Environmental Impact Statement, which has been ongoing since May of 2009. The Plan of Operation is also available on the Company’s website. It is important to note that Homestake Mining Company (“Homestake”) had a similar Plan of Operations for the La Jara Mesa project reviewed and approved by the USFS in 1984 and 1988. In both cases, Homestake chose not to enter into production because of steep declines in the price of uranium.

La Jara Mesa Overview

La Jara Mesa project is located in the prolific Grants Mineral Belt, 10 miles northeast of the town of Grants in Cibola County, New Mexico, USA.  La Jara Mesa is a sandstone hosted roll-front style deposit with an NI 43-101 compliant mineral resource estimate with a Measured and Indicated mineral resources totaling 7,257,817 pounds of uranium (U3O8) that are contained in 1,555,899 tons at an average grade of 0.23% U3O8, and an additional 3,172,653 pounds of U3O8 contained in 793,161 tons at an average grade of 0.20% U3O8 as Inferred mineral resources on the property. Considerable historic uranium exploration activity has been completed on La Jara Mesa by companies such as United Nuclear Corporation, Gulf Resources and Homestake. These companies performed exploration work, comprising of over 700 drill holes as well as metallurgical test work. Historical metallurgical studies on La Jara Mesa exhibited strong recoveries and potential underground access is quite straightforward via an inclined ramp from the valley floor. The Company also believes the project has additional exploration potential to expand current mineral resources. The resource lies approximately 700 feet below the surface and approximately 500 to 800 feet above the water table.

To learn more about Laramide, please visit the Company’s website at www.laramide.com.

The technical information in this news release has been prepared in accordance with the Canadian regulatory requirements set out in NI 43-101 and reviewed by Peter Mullens, Vice President of Exploration, Laramide Resources Ltd., a qualified person under NI 43-101 guidelines.

via LARAMIDE RESOURCES LTD. | Laramide Receives Draft EIS and Updates Permitting Status for La Jara Mesa Project.

Human Rights Petition: EPA: Don’t Sacrifice Navajo Water for Uranium Mining | Change.org

The Colorado Plateau of New Mexico still bears the unhealed sores of the Uranium Boom of the last century – radioactive waste piles, contaminated water and hundreds of mines on Navajo land abandoned by companies looking to make a quick profit.  Despite the massive contamination, companies want to start a new era of mining in this region.

I know this because I am Diné (Navajo) and live in Church Rock, New Mexico – only yards away from a proposed new uranium mine. As a resident and former miner, I have experienced the effects of uranium exploitation first-hand. Many of my relatives and neighbors, including myself, have suffered health problems due to working at or living near the mines.  In fact, one study has found that cancer rates among Navajo living near mine tailings are several times higher than the national average.

Knowing the inherent risks of this industry, I am concerned about the long-term effects and threats to the safety and health of our people, our water, and local plants and animals.  An elementary school sits near the proposed uranium processing plant and I am concerned about the safety of my community.

In 1989, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency gave Hydro Resources, Inc. an “aquifer exemption.” This permit allows Hydro Resources to destroy part of the aquifer beneath our community in order to extract uranium through in situ leach processing (ISL). The EPA did this before our community even knew about the proposal.

Recently, something unprecedented happened: the EPA agreed to revisit that 1989 decision. With new evidence of how ISL mining contaminates groundwater and recent health studies, we hope the EPA reconsiders all the facts and revokes Hydro Resources’ aquifer exemption. In a region where many Diné families still live without running water, water if life!

Revoking this permit could be our last chance to protect our community from this mine.

Our communities have already experienced excessive mental anguish and health impacts because of past mining. How can the EPA allow this poisonous uranium processing in our aquifer when our people rely on this water for our future?

The EPA has a rare opportunity to right a terrible wrong before new damage occurs.  Please help us to protect our community water resources by urging the EPA to revoke this aquifer exemption IMMEDIATELY before the company has a chance to begin contaminating our groundwater with uranium.

Thank you,

Larry J. King

Eastern Navajo Diné Against Uranium Mining (ENDAUM)

Church Rock, NM

via Human Rights Petition: EPA: Don’t Sacrifice Navajo Water for Uranium Mining | Change.org.

Groups urge EPA to revoke uranium permit – Farmington Daily Times | NM Native News | Scoop.it

Groups urge EPA to revoke uranium permit – Farmington Daily Times

ALBUQUERQUE Environmental groups are hopeful that a decision by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to reconsider a permit for a uranium mining operation in western New Mexico could lead to the end to the project.

Members of Eastern Navajo Dine Against Uranium Mining and the New Mexico Environmental Law Center had voiced concerns to the EPA about deficiencies in the decades-old permit application.

Larry King, a member of the Navajo group that has been fighting plans by Hydro Resources Inc. to start mining near Church Rock, said it’s crucial the EPA revoke an exemption that would allow for mining that could impact groundwater sources.

“The EPA has a rare opportunity to right a terrible wrong before new damage occurs,” King said.

He has started an online petition drive that calls on the EPA to protect Church Rock’s drinking water. He said the community has repeatedly expressed its opposition to in-situ leach mining in the area through resolutions, lawsuits and a 2005 Navajo law that banned uranium mining on the sprawling reservation over concerns about disease and death.

via Groups urge EPA to revoke uranium permit – Farmington Daily Times | NM Native News | Scoop.it.