Friday, December 20, 2013

Navajo Councilman Leonard Tsosie pushing for uranium mining to poison Navajo water


Leonard Tsosie representing Littlewater, 

Pueblo Pintado, Torreon, Whitehorse Lake, 

Baca/Brewitt, Casamero Lake, Ojo Encino, 

Counselor NM

Please be advised that the following actions are currently taking place and we need your help to tell the Navajo Nation Council Delegates to vote NO on Navajo Nation Legislation 0373-13.

Navajo Nation Council Delegate Leonard Tsosie of the Resources and Development Committee (RDC) is sponsoring Resolution 0373-13 which allows URI the Right-Of-Way over Tribal Trust land to start ISL URANIUM MINING at Churchrock, "Section 8". Uranium Resources, Inc or "URI" is a Texas-based company, formerly known as: Hydro Resources Inc. or "HRI" which has contaminated ground water at its other ISL projects and will surely contaminate the groundwater of Eastern Navajo if this project commences. Many communities around Church Rock will be in danger if operations begin and so we need to get the word out.

The RDC is accepting Publc Comments and has scheduled a Special Meeting with this as the main agenda item onMonday December 23, 2013 at 9 A.M. at Chilchinbeto Chapter, Chilchinbeto, AZ (south of Kayenta).

This action by a few elected officials is UNACCEPTABLE!! This will no doubt endanger our community, our children, and the area we call home.  Uranium is a poison and mining it is an improper and dangerous use of our water and natural resources!! Uranium should be left in the ground! We cannot regulate it and to think that we have power over nature is arrogant and dangerous. I am asking you to please Send Comments and join many other Dine' people in saying NO AND TO STOP NEW URANIUM CONTAMINATION at the Special RDC meeting next Monday morning at Chilchinbeto Chapter.

There are drafted Comments for you to use for reference. You can personalize the comments or just cut & paste and email ASAP! Your Chapter can also use these points to draft NEW Chapter Resolutions to Opposing Uranium Mining and Resolution 0373-13 too.

Comments should be emailed to by tomorrowSaturday December 21 by 5 P.M. Mountain Time.  Letters and written comments should be mailed to: Executive Director, Office of Legislative Services, PO Box 3390, Window Rock, AZ. 86515 postmarked by December 21, 2013.

I ask that you all forward this to all your contacts so that they can also get the word out to STOP Delegate Tsosie's resolution.  Please stand with us in defending our homes and our health.  Human life is priceless and we should speak up for our next generation who don't have a voice now.  The young children and generations to come will have to live with our choices today.

Thank you.

Jonathan Perry

Additional Information:

By Jim Crittenden
Ya'at'eeh Council,

My name is Jim Crittenden, my maternal clan is (Scottish) McKinnon.  It is with great respect that I make a comment on the uranium mining issue now before the Council.  In short, I oppose it.  The reason is because of the effort of the group ENDAUM (Eastern Navajo Dine' Against Uranium Mining).  They were responsible for getting uranium mining abolished in Navajoland, and a video was made that tells the story.  For almost 20 years, I taught middle school social studies in Kayenta and Rough Rock schools.  For ten of those years, I showed the ENDAUM video to my students as an example of how the Dine' can make positive changes right in their own communities.

Now retired, I'm asking that you remember the struggle for justice and the return of sovereignty to the Dine'.  Many people have struggled to see it returned to them and their children.  This is what I taught the children.  It would be a shame for the people to see their own tribal council act against the struggle just for economic reasons.

Please do not take the road taken by mainstream US culture.  That road leads to environmental destruction.  The choice is your's, but the consequences will affect the generations that follow, if the water supply is ruined when the chemicals they use infiltrate the groundwater through cracks in the rock formations.  It is not just Bilagaana laws that affect sovereignty.  It can be lost because of environmental reasons as well.  This does not have to happen.  You have a choice.

Ahxehee Dine',
Jim Crittenden

Comment by Howard Uhal: URI's permits in Texas

Environmental permits in Texas are issued by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). Separate permits are required for air, water, and/or waste. In addition, permits related to drilling and mining are issued by the Texas Railroad Commission (RRC). I am a retiree of the TCEQ Air Permits Division and worked on similar permits during my career.

I have attached a copy of the technical review which was done for one of URI's air permits in Texas. It is a "standard exemption" type of permit, which means that site-specific modeling was not required. As you can see from the document, the only emissions which were considered were particulate emissions of uranium dust, and any radioactive impact from such emissions was NOT part of the review. In addition, Texas only authorizes operating, startup, and shutdown emissions and NOT accidents or upsets. Therefore, what is discussed in the document may not be the overall impact of the facility when the possibility of accidents or upsets is considered.

I do not know if URI's operations in Arizona will consist of open pit or shaft mining, or the type of in-situ mining discussed in the attachment. Should it be the in-situ type, the document gives a good description of what it may be.

Also note that impacts to the groundwater are nowhere assessed in the attached evaluation. Were there to be any, they would have been discussed in an associated water or waste permit or in a RRC-issued permit. Once again, accidents or upsets would not have been authorized.

My comment to RDC is that if URI states (as they do on their website) that "Texas permits in place; two fully licensed processing facilities", any assessment of the impact from the Texas facilities should be based upon ALL their Texas permits (TCEQ-issued air, water, waste, and/or radioactive permits, and RRC-issued permits) PLUS any history related to inspections, incidents, accidents, and/or upsets at any of their sites. Merely stating that "permits are in place" does not convey the whole picture.

I hope this helps.

Warm regards,

Howard Uhal


Asdzaananahoghasi said...

Thank you Mr. Crittenden for your comments and your appeal to the Navajo Nation Council on behalf of all living beings on Dine Bikeyah!

Rose Hulligan,
Kayenta, AZ

Joy Banks said...

Here is a video of a Canadian First Nation's woman Candyce Paul, standing up to the uranium mining industry. More people must come forward to end this on ALL tribal land! Please... rise up and call a halt to this! Just look at Fukushima to see the results of nuclear power... a handful of damaged reactors poisoning the entire Pacific Ocean with NO WAY TO STOP THEM. Can your people live with that on their conscience?

Saint Howard (a.k.a. Howard the Great) said...

My comments about URI's Texas permits reflect my personal opinions, and they are not the official position of the TCEQ or any other government agency. In addition, I do not mean to imply that URI's Texas permits are faulty or invalid in any way. In my opinion they are valid under the standards applied to them by the TCEQ and the RRC.

-Howard Uhal