Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Play

The youngest students along with faculty and staff will need to mask up in states like New Mexico; and President Biden calls for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to resign following a report on sexual harassment.

Play

Gov. Andrew Cuomo reacts to sexual harassment report; CDC places new limits on evictions until October; and a new study finds Democrats could lose control of US House in 2022 due to Republican gerrymandering.

Utes Fear Uranium Mill is Becoming Radioactive Waste Dump

Play

Wednesday, September 30, 2020   

WHITE MESA, Utah -- Native tribes and environmental groups alike are worried that a Utah uranium-processing mill is becoming a dumping ground for foreign industrial polluters -- and that regulators are doing nothing to stop it.

The White Mesa Uranium Mill in San Juan County has begun accepting tons of radioactive waste from other countries. The mill's owner claims the shipments are uranium ore for processing, but Tim Peterson, cultural landscapes program director for the Grand Canyon Trust, said less than 1% of the material from nations such as Estonia and Japan becomes treated uranium. The rest is destined for the waste pits.

"They view it as waste, but when it comes into the U.S., it's regarded as something that the mill can accept and process without any sort of licensing, without any public notice, without any public comment," he said. "We're concerned that the White Mesa mill not become the world's radioactive waste dump."

Peterson said the nearby Ute Mountain Ute tribe fears toxic pollution will spread to their native lands and the nearby Bears Ears National Monument. A Utah Department of Environmental Quality spokesman said the White Mesa mill currently meets all state and federal licensing requirements.

Peterson contended that Utah officials, who regulate the site for the federal government, have become too close to the uranium-mining industry and are turning a blind eye to the mill's operations.

"We're concerned with the concept or the process of 'sham recycling,' which is where something that's considered waste in one location becomes something to recycle for uranium content when it arrives at the White Mesa mill," he said.

Peterson said tribal leaders are especially concerned that the radioactive waste can't be safely contained in White Mesa's 350-acre waste field.

"The Ute Mountain Ute/White Mesa community is down-gradient from the mill," he said, "and while I can't speak for them, I know that they're concerned about the degradation of their water quality, as well as air quality and materials that they have to breathe."

He said the mill opened in the late 1970s to process low-grade uranium ore. He added that federal nuclear regulators ruled in 2010 that an import license is required to process materials from foreign countries for disposal, but said there's no record of the mill obtaining such a permit.

The UDEQ letter is online at grandcanyontrust.org.


get more stories like this via email

Unilever, the parent company of Ben & Jerry's, could land on a list of more than 60 blacklisted companies prohibited from doing business with the State of Florida. (Stevepb/Pixabay)

Health and Wellness

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Gov. Ron DeSantis is promising to block any state money from going to the parent company of ice-cream maker Ben & Jerry's unless …


Social Issues

LAS VEGAS - Las Vegas is trying to make it easier for people experiencing homelessness to get to their appointments with social service agencies by in…

Environment

BILLINGS, Mont. - Montanans are being challenged this month to eat locally grown foods, every day of August. The Northern Plains Resource Council is …


Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families is also asking the Arkansas Legislature to reconsider Act 977, which bans state and local officials from mandating COVID-19 vaccinations. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- COVID-19 has given a whole new meaning to the term "Extraordinary Session," as state lawmakers are in Little Rock again today to …

Health and Wellness

SEATTLE - Speaking to folks who are hesitant about getting the COVID-19 vaccine has gained a new sense of urgency as the Delta variant pushes cases up…

Ayolanda Evans Mack of the group Protect Minnesota is at the helm of a new documentary about what it would take to rid a community of gun violence. (Black Light Media)

Social Issues

MINNEAPOLIS - Cities such as Minneapolis are getting attention over waves of gun violence in recent months. A statewide group hopes a new documentary …

Social Issues

FARGO, N.D. -- The people behind efforts to recall four Fargo School Board members have until August 25th to collect signatures. Ahead of that …

Social Issues

By Katie Fleischer for Ms. MagazineBroadcast version by Lily Böhlke for Tennessee News Service/Public News Service NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- After …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021