Don't Sacrifice Navajo Water for Uranium Mining
I just signed the following petition addressed to: EPA.
I write to urge US EPA Region 6 to revoke the aquifer exemption that the agency granted to Hydro Resources, Inc. in1989 for mining uranium in Church Rock, New Mexico.
EPA must protect underground sources of drinking water. Hydro Resources Inc. cannot be allowed to proceed with its Church Rock mining project as it will result in the contamination of groundwater that the Navajo Nation has identified as an important future source of drinking water. EPA has both the legal authority and moral obligation to revoke the aquifer exemption.
Twenty-two years ago, the EPA based its decision to issue the aquifer exemption on misleading and inaccurate data provided by Hydro Resources, and the EPA asked no questions. Now, two decades later, the EPA has an opportunity to do the right thing.
Decades after the last mining company abandoned the region, residents of northwestern New Mexico still live with the unresolved legacy of radioactive contamination and waste from Cold War-era uranium mining. They grapple with toxic groundwater, radioactive air and all the terrible health impacts that are linked to uranium. Navajos, and other local tribes, suffer from unforeseen consequences to their traditional ways of living due to effects from past mining.
These communities should not have to bear any further cultural, environmental or public health burdens from ill-conceived uranium mining operations.
There is significant evidence showing that no company has been able to clean up groundwater to pre-mining condition after using the "in situ" process. That evidence also shows that water contaminated by this technique moves freely outside of the exempted portions of aquifers, ruining clean water forever.
I urge you to exercise your authority to revoke Hydro Resources' aquifer exemption immediately. These communities have suffered enough. You can stop it now.