Federal officials have reached a settlement with a natural gas company over the costs of field work at abandoned uranium mines on the Navajo Nation.

Under the settlement announced Monday, El Paso Natural Gas Company LLC must repay the government about $500,000. The company is the corporate successor to former uranium mine operators near Cameron from 1952 to 1961.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has been working to identify parties responsible for hazardous or potentially hazardous waste.

Charlie Leight/The Arizona Republic

The Antiquities Act gives the President of the United States power to declare national monuments. A bill sponsored by Republican Arizona Congressman Paul Gosar wants to limit that presidential authority, which has been in place for more than 100 years. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports.

Melissa Sevigny

Nuclear power has gained more attention as a clean energy source. The raw material needed to make that power is uranium; and the highest-grade uranium deposits in the nation are near the Grand Canyon. The federal government has halted new uranium mining in the region, but old mines can still reopen.

Blake McCord/Courtesy of the Grand Canyon Trust

Arizona Congressman Raul Grijalva plans to introduce a bill that would establish a Grand Canyon Heritage National Monument. At a press conference yesterday, he was joined by tribal leaders who say it would protect cultural resources and outlaw uranium mining in the area. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports. 

A petition submitted today by a nonprofit environmental group seeks to trigger federal reform of uranium mining regulations on public lands.

The petition focuses on so-called “zombie” mines that have been reopened after long periods of inactivity. It asks for limits on how long a mine can remain on standby, as well as new environmental reviews when an old mine reopens. It also proposes regular inspections of inactive mines, long-term water monitoring and firm deadlines for reclamation.  

Senate candidates, Democrat Rich Carmona and Republican Jeff Flake held their last debate Thursday in Yuma.

Researchers To Study Uranium Impacts On Navajo Children

Oct 17, 2012
Sean Dayzie Begay

The University of New Mexico, along with the federal and Navajo government have launched a health study 30 years after uranium mines were shut down on the Navajo Nation. Researchers plan to determine whether ongoing exposure to contaminated sites may be affecting pregnant women and children.

Shelley Smithson

Lionel Puhuyesva walks across a sea of broken glass at the Tuba City Open Dump. Puhuyesva is director of the Hopi Tribe’s Water Resources Program. He has been working 12 years to clean up the groundwater beneath this landfill near Tuba City, Ariz. Last month, the Hopi Tribe sued the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs over the landfill that the federal agency operated for nearly 50 years.