August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Indigenous protest abandoned uranium mines at US EPA



Thursday, January 28, 2016

By Klee Benally
Clean Up The Mines, organizer
Photos by Tommy Rock: Delegation in DC

15,000 Abandoned Uranium Mines to be Protested at DC EPA Headquarters

'We are the Miner's Canary': Indigenous Organizations Call for Clean Up of 'Homegrown' Radioactive Pollution Crisis

Editors: Indigenous organizations will make statements and representatives will be available for interviews. Large banners saying "Radioactive Pollution Kills," "Clean Up The Mines" & "Clean Nuclear is a Deadly Lie." Signs with numbers of mines in significantly impacted states.

Washington, DC — On Thursday, January 28 at 12:30 PM, representatives of Indigenous organizations from the Southwest and Northern Great Plains will protest radioactive pollution caused by 15,000 uranium mines posing a toxic threat in the US. The demonstration will be held at the Environmental Protection Agency headquarters. The groups charge that the EPA has been negligent in ensuring clean up of abandoned uranium mines that severely threaten public health, lands, and water ways.

What: Indigenous organizations and supporters protest for clean up of   15,000 uranium mines abandoned throughout the US. 

When: Thursday, January 28, 2016 at 12:30 PM.

Where: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20004

Who: A delegation of Indigenous People from the Southwest and Northern Great Plains including; Clean Up The Mines, Defenders of the Black Hills, Diné No Nukes, Laguna and Acoma Coalition for a Safe Environment & Multicultural Alliance for a Safe Environment, & Indigenous World Alliance.

Why: In 2015 the Gold King Mine spill was a wake-up call to address dangers of abandoned mines, but there are currently more than 15,000 toxic uranium mines that remain abandoned throughout the US. For more than 50 years, many of these hazardous sites have been contaminating the land, air, water, and national monuments such as Mt. Rushmore and the Grand Canyon. Each one of these thousands of abandoned uranium mines is a potential Gold King mine disaster with the greater added threat of radioactive pollution. Representatives will also address how and why "clean nuclear" is a deadly lie.

"Native American nations of North America are the miners' canaries for the United States trying to awaken the people of the world to the dangers of radioactive pollution", states Charmaine White Face from the South Dakota based organization Defenders of the Black Hills.
South Dakota has 272 Abandoned Uranium Mines (AUMs).

Indigenous communities have been disproportionately impacted as approximately 75% of AUMs are located on federal and Tribal lands. A majority of AUMs are located in 15 western states with the potential to impact more than 50 million people.

The Clean Up The Mines! campaign is focused on passing the Uranium Exploration and Mining Accountability Act through Congress. The legislation would ensure clean up of all AUMs.


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