August 11, 2023
By Hannah Grover, New Mexico Political Report
Residents of a small Navajo Nation community are hopeful that some of the historic mine waste impacting their land and health will be hauled away.
In the 1970s and 1980s, the Quivira Mine produced approximately 4.6 million pounds of uranium, making it the third largest uranium mine on Navajo Nation.
As the uranium was hauled off, waste was discarded in a pile that today is located about 200 yards from a residence in the Red Water Pond Road Community.
This waste primarily consists of rocks, dirt and sand removed from the mine shafts.
“There is a level of radioactivity, but it is not uranium ore,” Susan Gordon with the Multicultural Alliance for a Safe Environment told the interim legislative Indian Affairs Committee on Thursday during a meeting in Gallup.
For about half a century, the Navajo people living in the Red Water Pond Road Community have had to live with the toxic waste. But that could change.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is considering two alternatives for the waste: capping it and storing it at the site in the Red Water Pond Road Community or hauling it off for disposal at a nearby landfill in the Thoreau area.
But some members of the Thoreau community are concerned about the radioactive waste being moved into their area….