Rio Grande Valley Broadband • Entered by Susan Ostlie on December 30, 2020
Grand Canyon Trust – Uranium Mining and storage in Bear’s Ears National Monument
December 9, 2020
Participants and Hours
|Pre Planning hours|
|Post Admin hours|
Key Issue: Oil, Gas, or Mineral Development
Activity Type: Trainings (WALTS, CAREs/GLOWs, research, conferences, workshops, etc.)
Key Partners: Grand Canyon Trust – others
Short Description of Activity
Confronting the Last Uranium mill in US- Grand Canyon Trust – National Town Hall: Indigenous People & Environmental Justice at White Mesa.
Since we last wrote, we’ve been working to stop shipments of foreign radioactive waste to the White Mesa uranium mill. What does a uranium mill have to do with monuments? Well, the nation’s last operating conventional uranium mill is located just one mile east of Bears Ears’ original boundaries, and the mill’s owner successfully lobbied the Trump administration to slash Bears Ears’ boundaries in 2017. The mill is also just a few miles from the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe’s White Mesa community, and residents there are concerned about the mill’s impacts on their air and water quality, as well as its desecration of burial sites.
This spring, we learned that a rare-metals processor in the Baltic nation of Estonia had set its sights on shipping hundreds of tons of radioactive waste to the mill. Over 12,000 concerned citizens like you submitted comments in opposition; the Estonian company faces an end-of-2020 deadline to get the waste out of Estonia or shut down permanently. There’s no final decision from Utah regulators yet, but we’ll keep you posted.
Then, we learned that the Japan Atomic Energy Agency plans to ship more than 100 tons of radioactive material to the mill. The mill’s owner insists, and Utah regulators agree, that the waste is not waste, but rather material for “recycling.” But Japanese regulators view the material as “waste,” and they want it gone. They say in documents that getting rid of the radioactive material “is necessary to reduce the burden of the waste management on future generations.”
Linda attended this meeting, at least part of it I think. (She had another meeting for the NM Green Amendment on that day, I think, and I was also at another webinar.)
So I am not sure if Linda attended, but we do have a recording to listen to. At any rate, this is an outrageous plan to exploit lands sacred to indigenous tribes in the 4 corners area.