Press Conference Eastern Navajo Diné Against Uranium Mining and the NM Environmental Law Center

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WHAT: Press Conference Held By Eastern Navajo Diné Against Uranium Mining and the New Mexico Environmental Law Center

WHERE: The National Press Club, 529 14th St. NW, Washington, D.C.

WHEN: Monday, May 16, 8:30 a.m.
A press conference will be held following the filing with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to intervene with the United States to stop uranium mining within the Navajo Nation.

Eric Jantz, Lead Attorney on the New Mexico Environmental Law Center’s (NMELC) uranium cases. Prior to his move to the NMELC, Eric worked for the Navajo Nation Judicial Branch as Staff Attorney and also at DNA-People’s Legal Services, Inc. in Crownpoint, NM, where he worked on uranium issues. He has been working on the Eastern Navajo Diné Against Uranium Mining case (ENDAUM) since 2001.

Larry J. King, Eastern Navajo Diné Against Uranium Mining. Mr. King has been involved in the proposed Hydro Resources Inc. (HRI) uranium mining issue since 1995. He is a former uranium mine worker, whose health has been affected by exposure. He will speak on how the contamination from the last wave of uranium mining must be addressed before this new wave can even be considered. The Rio Puerco uranium tailings spill (July 16, 1979) went right through Mr. King’s land where his family’s cattle ranch is located. The spill was the largest nuclear accident in US history. The dam break spilled more than 94 Mil gallons of uranium mill process waters into the river. The livestock contamination issue is a problem across the Navajo Nation because sheep are an important food and market (meat and wool) for Navajo communities.

The press conference is key in the aftermath of the Japan reactor accident and crisis. Items addressed at the conference include:

  •  The operation of in-situ leach (ISL) uranium mines will contaminate the aquifer that provides the only source of drinking water for 15,000 Navajo citizens.    
  • Navajo communities continue to suffer a public health catastrophe due to radioactive and heavy metal contamination from past uranium mining.
  • HRI has not demonstrated that it can safely mine uranium or remediate the aquifer. Indeed, in over 30 years of operation,the ISL mining industry has a track record of spills and contamination, and has failed to clean up even one mined aquifer to premining quality.
  • The Navajo Nation tribal government has prohibited any new uranium mining or processing within Navajo Indian country with the passage of the Diné Natural Resources Protection Act of 2005 (DNRPA).
  • This is the first international human rights complaint to be filed against an action by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    RSVP: Onsite and remote attendance is by RSVP only.
    To confirm your attendance or to access this session
    remotely, please contact :
    Jennifer B. Marshall, The Marshall Plan

Jennifer Marshall