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EPA Wraps Up Uranium Mine Cleanup on Navajo Nation

Published: October 19, 2011
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The Associated Press reported on the clean up of Skyline Mine, which sits near Elsie Mae Begay’s residence in Monument Valley:

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — For decades, Elsie Begay and her family tied sickness and death to the contaminated uranium waste that sat at the foot of a mesa on the Arizona-Utah border and was scattered throughout an arroyo near their homes.

Now it’s gone, along with the threat of continued radiation exposure for the handful of families living on the valley floor. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency wrapped up the $7.5 million cleanup project at Oljato Mesa this week, marking the first significant remediation of a mine site on the Navajo Nation.

“Our big concern was people going right up to the piles and being exposed to gamma radiation, and we’ve mitigated that threat,” said Jason Musante, who oversaw the cleanup of Skyline Mine for the EPA.

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