August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Grassroots receive large donation for Radiation Monitoring Project

By Leona Morgan
David Kraft
Yuko Tonohira
English, with Dutch translation by Alice Holemans, NAIS Gazette, thank you!

CHICAGO -- The Radiation Monitoring Project, a national initiative to establish monitoring of radioactivity in communities contaminated by the nuclear fuel chain, received over half its $15,000 fundraising goal in a single anonymous donation earlier this week.
The Radiation Monitoring Project is a collaboration among three organizations: Diné No Nukes (DNN) of the Southwest region, Nuclear Energy Information Service (NEIS) located in Chicago, Illinois and Sloths Against Nuclear State (SANS) based in Brooklyn, NY. These organizations represent communities across America affected by various stages of the nuclear fuel chain—such as uranium mining and milling, waste transport and storage, and nuclear reactors.
"This gift was totally unexpected," notes Dave Kraft, director of NEIS. "It makes it very likely that we will not only reach our initial targets, but may enable us to purchase even more radiation monitors for distribution than initially planned.  Whoever the donors are, we thank you, and so do the communities your gift will be protecting," says a grateful Kraft.
Due to the lack of public monitoring of radioactivity and access to real-time data regarding radioactive contamination, the three organizations are working together to establish mechanisms to monitor radioactivity and the means to access the information online.
“As long as the American public is not aware of the radioactive pollution in their area, the more they are susceptible to adverse health effects,” states Charmaine Whiteface from Defenders of the Black Hills, an organization dealing with radioactive contamination on Lakota and Cheyenne lands.
Nationally, many communities are in dire need of this type of monitoring to protect human populations, but lack the necessary resources or technology to do much about it. Through this project, these organizations are not only addressing the need for monitoring to protect the public health and safety, but they are also providing culturally appropriate education and support for communities to protect themselves.
This first stage of the project is to raise funds to secure at least 10 radiation detectors (also known as Geiger Counters) as well as to host multiple trainings in different regions to use said devices. The group is using the platform Go Fund Me and receiving tax-deductible donations via NEIS, which received the donation this week from an anonymous donor.
In response to Fukushima, the 2013 WIPP plutonium leak in New Mexico, and in the wake of the recent May 2015 radiation leak at Indian Point nuclear reactor (less than 60 miles north of New York City), residents in urban areas are becoming alarmed to the real dangers of nuclear energy production. Just like the disasters at Chernobyl and Three Mile Island, residents of these areas will be permanently impacted by the radioactivity, health effects, economic upheaval, relocation, and the many costs never paid for by the nuclear industry itself.
Unknowingly, a huge percentage of Americans in the Western United States live everyday near radioactive waste sites contaminated from past mining. Beginning in the 1870s, uranium was discovered in Colorado and mined during the 19th century in both Colorado and Texas. The most contaminated sites were created during the Manhattan-Project or Atomic Energy Commission mining-era, largely on indigenous lands and within sources of drinking water for many indigenous peoples. In places like Churchrock, New Mexico—site of the world’s largest uranium tailings spill in 1979—both ground and surface water were contaminated. Today, the majority of these past mining areas remain un-remediated. Residents in Churchrock are still living with contamination from past mining and the 1979 spill. Such rural locations are not in the news and, in the past, did not receive the media attention that was created around Three Mile Island or Fukushima,
Arnie Gundersen of Fairwinds Energy Education – an internationally recognized nuclear issues expert, especially on the Fukushima nuclear disaster -- says in support of the project: “Radiation exposure to Native Americans is one of the great untold stories of the nuclear era. These detectors will help the truth to be told.”
This project ties together the entire nuclear fuel chain by addressing the similar needs of different communities working to protect themselves and future generations by identifying contaminated sites and preventing unnecessary exposures at these places.
The project and fundraiser commenced on the anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster this year, April 26, 2015. The organizations hope to reach the goal of $15,000 by July 16, 2015 which is the anniversary of the Churchrock Spill as well as the first nuclear test explosion in 1945 at the Trinity Site in southern New Mexico.
About the Organizations:
Diné No Nukes
Nuclear Energy Information Services
Sloths Against Nuclear State

Door Leona Morgan :
David Kraft:
Yuko Tonohira:

Vertaald door NAIS:

Grassroots organisaties ontvangen $ 8.000 van een anonieme schenker voor hun stralingscontrole project.

Chicago- het Radiation Monotoring project, een nationaal initiatief om radioactiviteit te controleren in gemeenschappen die vervuild zijn door de nucleaire brandstof keten, ontving deze week ineens meer dan de helft van hun fondsenwervingdoel van 15.000$, van een anonieme schenker.
Het ‘Radiation Monitoring Project’ is een samenwerking tussen drie organisaties:
Diné No Nukes (DNN) van de zuidwest regio.
Nuclear Energy Information Service (NEIS), Chicago, Illinois en
Sloths Against Nuclear State (SANS), met basis in Brooklyn, NY.

Deze organisaties vertegenwoordigen gemeenschappen in Amerika die getroffen zijn door de verschillende fases van de nucleaire brandstofketen – zoals uranium ontginning en vermaling, transport en opslaan van afval, en nucleaire reactors.

“ Die schenking was totaal onverwacht” zegt Dave Kraft van NEIS. “ Niet alleen maakt dit het doel van de fondsenwerving niet langer uitzichtloos maar het kan ons in staat stellen om nog meer straling monitors aan te schaffen en te verspreiden dan oorspronkelijk gepland is. Wie die gevers ook zijn, wij danken u, ook namens de gemeenschappen die beschermd zullen worden door uw schenking.” Aldus een dankbare Kraft.

Vanwege het gebrek aan publieke controle van radioactiviteit en toegang tot real-time data betreffende radioactieve vervuiling, werken de drie organisaties samen om mechanismen op te richten om radioactiviteit te controleren en aan middelen om online gemakkelijker toegang te verlenen tot de informatie.

“ Zo lang het Amerikaanse publiek zich niet bewust is van radioactieve vervuiling in hun gebied, zullen ze meer blootgesteld zijn aan de negatieve effecten voor hun gezondheid.” Zei Charmaine Whiteface van Defenders van de Black Hills, een organisatie die te maken heeft met radioactieve vervuiling op Lakota en Cheyenne land.
Veel gemeenschappen hebben nood aan dit type van controle om populaties te beschermen, maar hebben niet de nodige bronnen of technologie om er iets aan te doen.
Deze organisaties brengen niet alleen de noodzaak voor controle om de volksgezondheid en veiligheid te beschermen, maar zij voorzien ook cultureel juiste educatie en steun bij gemeenschappen om zichzelf te beschermen.
De eerste fase van het project is om fondsen te verwerven om ten minste 10 Geigertellers te verwerven en multiple training sessies te organiseren in verschillende regio om met deze apparaten aan de slag te gaan.
De groep gebruikt het platform Go Fund Me en ontvangt belastingaftrekbare donaties via NEIS, die deze week de anonieme schenking mocht ontvangen.

Na Fukushima, het WIPP plutonium lek in New Mexico 2013, en in de nasleep van het recente stralingslek van de Indian Point nucleaire reactor, (op minder dan 60 mijl ten noorden van New York City- mei 2015), worden bewoners van de stedelijke gebieden zich meer en meer bewust van de werkelijke gevaren van kernenergie productie.
Net zoals de rampen in Chernobyl en Three Miles Island, worden bewoners van deze gebieden permanent beïnvloed door de radioactiviteit, gezondheidproblemen, economische onrust, relocaties en de vele onkosten die nooit betaald worden door de nucleaire industrie zelf.

Een groot percentage van Amerikanen in de westelijk VS leven, zonder het te beseffen nabij radioactieve sites die vervuild zijn door oude mijnbouwactiviteiten.
In het begin van de jaren 1870 werd uranium ontdekt in Colorado en ontgonnen tijdens 19° eeuw in zowel Colorado als in Texas.
De meest vervuilde sites werden gecreëerd tijdens het Manhattan- Project of Atomic Energy Commission mijnbouw era, grotendeels op inheems land en binnen de bronnen van drinkwater van vele inheemse gemeenschappen.
In plaatsen zoals Churchrock, New Mexico- een van de grootste uranium afval lozingen ter wereld in 1979- werden zowel grond- en oppervlaktewater verontreinigd.
Tot op vandaag werden de meerderheid van deze oude ontginningsgebieden niet gesaneerd.
Residenten in Churchrock leven nog steeds onder die vervuiling van oude mijnontginningen en de lozing in 1979.
Deze landelijke locaties komen niet in het nieuws, en in het verleden hebben ze nooit de media aandacht gekregen die er wel was rond Three Mile Island of Fukushima.

Arnie Gunderson van Fairwinds Energy Education- een internationaal erkende expert voor nucleaire kwesties, vooral in het Fukushima drama- zegt over het project:” Native Amerikanen die blootgesteld zijn aan radioactiviteit, dat is een van de grote niet-vertelde verhalen van de nucleaire era. Deze detectors zullen kunnen helpen om de waarheid te naar buiten de brengen.”

Het project en de fondsenwerving is dit jaar van start gegaan op de verjaardag van de Chernobyl ramp op 26 april .
De organisaties hopen hun doel van $15.000 bereikt te hebben tegen 16 juli 2015. Dit is op de verjaardag van zowel de Churchrock Spill als de eerste nucleaire testexplosie in 1945 op de Trinity Site in zuidelijk New Mexico.

About the Organizations:
Diné No Nukes
Nuclear Energy Information Services
Sloths Against Nuclear State

Jerry Brown's head oil regulator resigns after RICO suit filed

Photo of oil waste injection courtesy of DOGGR.

Jerry Brown's head oil regulator resigns after RICO suit filed

by Dan Bacher
Censored News

Mark Nechodom, the controversial director of the California Department of Conservation, the agency that oversees the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR), resigned on Thursday, June 4.

DOGGR is the agency charged with regulating the state's oil and gas industry. Governor Jerry Brown in 2011 appointed Nechodom, who is considered very friendly to the oil industry, to the post in order to expedite permits for oil drilling in Kern County and elsewhere.

The agency has faced increasing scrutiny from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) after permitting oil companies conducting steam injection and fracking operations to drill thousands of oilfield wastewater disposal wells into protected aquifers.

The Committee to Protect Agricultural Water, a citizen organization comprised of Central Valley farmers and "individuals concerned about California's drinking water," filed a civil Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) complaint in Federal Court on June 3, the day before Nechodom resigned.

The RICO Complaint claims that Governor Jerry Brown's office ordered the DOGGR to approve permits to inject contaminated water in violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act. (

The lawsuit alleges that "The Oil Companies, Governor's Office, Director of Conservation Mark Nechodom, State Oil & Gas Supervisor Tim Kustic, Director of the Kern County Planning and Development Department Lorelei Oviatt, DOGGR, WSPA, CIPA, and others known and unknown, formed an "enterprise" ("the Enterprise") to achieve through illegal means the goal of increasing oil production and maximizing profits and tax revenue by allowing the Oil Companies to inject salt water into fresh water in violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act."

That's not the only suit filed challenging the agency's "permits to pollute." A lawsuit filed on May 7 by Earthjustice in Alameda County Superior Court, on behalf of the Center for Biological Diversity and Sierra Club, challenged recently unveiled “underground injection control” regulations from DOGGR.

"The regulations allow oil companies to continue injecting oil industry wastewater and other fluids into protected aquifers until February 2017, in violation of state and federal law and despite a water-scarcity crisis caused by the worst drought on record," according to a statement from the groups. "DOGGR pushed the rules through in just a few days, characterizing inconvenience to the oil industry from interrupting its illegal injections as a public 'emergency.'" (See interactive map:

Nechodom told lawmakers earlier this year that regulators “all fell down” in protecting the state’s water supplies.

Jason Marshall, the Conservation Department’s Chief Deputy Director, will head the tainted department while a permanent replacement is sought.

Attorney Rex Parris, whose law firm filed the RICO lawsuit, said in a written statement Friday, “We are not surprised that Nechodom resigned a day after the filing of this lawsuit. We are confident he is just one of many resignations to come.”

Mark Schlosberg, organizing director with Food and Water Watch, a member organization of Californians Against Fracking, responded to the resignation by saying it points to the larger failure by the Brown administration to protect California's water and air.

“When it comes to ensuring the public’s health and protecting our water and air, Jerry Brown has failed,” said Schlosberg. "Mark Nechodom is one of many in the Brown Administration who have looked the other way as oil companies inject poison into underground drinking water, spill oil onto our beaches and spew methane into the air."

"It is incumbent upon Gov. Brown to hold the oil industry and his own state regulators accountable and protect Californians from these inherently unsafe practices. Nechodom’s departure does not let Brown off the hook," he concluded.

No comments from Nechodom or the Natural Resources Agency were available at press time.

While Brown spouts off about his carbon trading and "green energy" policies at photo opportunity after photo opportunity, he is currently committed to the expansion of fracking in California, spurring increasing resistance to his Big Oil-friendly policies by environmentalists, Tribal leaders and fishermen.

Brown has also continued and expanded some of the worst environmental policies of the Schwarzenegger administration, including the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) to build the twin water export tunnels and the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative to create questionable "marine protected areas."

In one of the biggest environmental conflicts of interest in California history, the Brown administration approved the implementation of so-called "marine protected areas" on the South Coast created under the leadership of a Big Oil lobbyist. Catherine Reheis-Boyd, President of the Western States Petroleum Association, chaired the MLPA Initiative Blue Ribbon Task Force for the South Coast, as well as sitting on the task forces for the Central Coast, North Central Coast and North Coast.

The "marine protected areas" created under the leadership of her and other corporate operatives fail to protect the ocean from oil spills, oil drilling, fracking, pollution, corporate aquaculture, military testing and all human impacts on the ocean other than fishing and gathering.

In a bizarre scenario that the mainstream media and most of the "alternative" media have failed to discuss, four "marine protected areas" now being fouled by the Santa Barbara Oil Spill - the Goleta Slough, Campus Point, Naples and Kashtayit State Marine Conservation Areas - were created under the oil lobbyist's "leadership." If that isn't the proverbial fox guarding the hen house, I don't know what is.

Big Oil is able to exert enormous influence over regulatory bodies like DOGGR and the MLPA Initiative because it is the largest and most powerful corporate lobby in the state. The Western States Petroleum Association spent a record $8.9 million on lobbying in the California in 2014, nearly double what it spent the previous year. WSPA spent $4.67 million in 2013. (

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