Target: Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chair Allison Macfarlane
Goal: Prioritize approval of nuclear waste cleanup on Navajo land in New Mexico
Decades in the past, New Mexico was a primary site for uranium mining and enrichment for United States energy and weapons programs. The mines have been largely disabled since the 1980s, but the government is still working to safely dispose of the toxic waste byproduct. Unfortunately, caught in the long process of disposing of this toxic waste is the Navajo nation which has lived in what is now New Mexico for centuries.
The Navajo have discovered multiple retired uranium mines on and near their land that the US government had never shown them. The waste runoff has damaged the soil and environment near the Navajo people forcing them to relocate for their own safety. While the government and some companies have attempted to compensate the Navajo people, there is no adequate monetary compensation for desecrating what is considered sacred land. The most that can be done to right this wrong is to clean up the toxic waste that makes the area uninhabitable.
Unfortunately, approving toxic waste cleanup is a long, bureaucratic process. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is expected to take two years to make environmental and safety assessments before approving cleanup at the former Navajo territory near Red Water Pond Road in New Mexico.
The Navajo people should not have to wait that long. They deserve to be able to live where they want and not be displaced by toxic waste that they had no part in creating.
Sign this petition to urge the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairperson to prioritize the Navajo’s application so that the Navajo can begin returning to their territory.
Dear Dr. Allison Macfarlane,
The Navajo people living in New Mexico have been forced off of their land by the toxic consequences of United States uranium mining. The toxic waste created by uranium mining efforts has made conditions so unsafe that many Navajo have relocated.
Though the government and some companies have attempted to compensate the Navajo, what the people deserve is the option to return to their homes. That requires approval for further toxic waste cleanup near Red Water Pond Road in New Mexico.
In your capacity as Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chair, I urge you to prioritize the Navajo’s plight as you move forward with environmental and safety assessments. The United States’ responsibility to the Navajo and the government’s record on indigenous rights compels that the process be accelerated.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Wolfgang Staudt via Wikimedia Commons