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Gallup Independent: Oljato Mesa Chosen to Bury Uranium Mine Waste

Published: August 19, 2010
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The Gallup Independent reported on August 19, 2010:

OLJATO, Utah – U.S Environmental Protection Agency officials have received approval from Oljato Chapter residents to bury waste from the former Skyline Mine about 600 feet above the desert floor on top of Oljato Mesa in the Monument Valley area.

Skyline Mine is one of an estimated 520 abandoned uranium mines located throughout the Navajo Nation. Portions of the mine were closed by capping them with fill material, however, due to the steep terrain, mine waste at the eastern edge and bottom of the mesa were not removed during closure activities.

Radiation has been detected at an average of 10 times background level, or the standard considered by EPA to be protective of human health and the environment. During sampling in November 2008, EPA found two areas where the radiation activity measured greater than 40,000 counts per minute, compared to safe levels of 4,500 counts per minute.

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