Tuesday, April 7, 2020

EPA awards Navajo Nation Abandoned Mine Lands Program $329,000 to address uranium mines

The Navajo Nation Abandoned Mine Lands Program (NNAML) will continue its efforts to clean up abandoned uranium mines on the Navajo Nation with a $329,000 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).


Under the authority of the tribe’s Division of Natural Resources, the NNAML was established in conjunction with the Department of Interior’s Office of Surface Mining, Reclamation, and Enforcement (OSM) in 1988 to address the 523 abandoned mines on the Navajo Nation. The program began working with abandoned uranium mines in 1994, and has since reclaimed hundreds of them.

Using the latest funding from the EPA, the NNAML will be able to train staff on EPA regulations and purchase equipment such as advanced GIS instruments and gamma detectors. The program will also develop safety materials to educate children and teens living on the Navajo Nation about abandoned uranium mines.

In conjunction with their work on the mines, NNAML scientists and engineers will work closely with the EPA to ensure that the agency has technical information about the mines NNAML is addressing. This ensures that future investigation and response activities will be completed with a better understanding of the area’s uranium mine contamination.

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EPA Region 9 (Pacific Southwest)

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