Sep 24

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Uranium Contamination on Navajo Land

When mining companies abandoned their mines, they also walked away from the contamination, leaving many Navajo people with undrinkable water.

Image Credit: US EPA

Transcript of the Audio Podcast:

The fight to clean up abandoned uranium mines… on this CurrentCast.

Navajo lands in Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico were once home to more than five-hundred uranium mines. But in the mid-eighties, the mining companies abandoned the sites – leaving contaminated water and soil.

Lillie Lane of the Navajo Nation Environmental Protection Agency says the water is still undrinkable in many areas.

Lane: “Navajo people have to drive long distances to haul safe drinking water.”

Clean-up began after some funding became available in 2007, but the work is expensive; it’s hard to prove which mining companies are responsible; and many areas are difficult to access. So Lane says widespread cleanup could still be a hundred years away.

Support for CurrentCast comes from the Mitsubishi Corporation Foundation for the Americas. Learn more online at http://www.currentcast.org.

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