Bill would 'rescind, render null and void' URI/RDC resolution

By Alastair Lee Bitsoi
Navajo Times

SHIPROCK, March 27,2014

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Council delegate Edmund Yazzie has introduced legislation that would "rescind, repeal and render null and void" a Resources and Development Committee bill that allows a subcommittee to entertain Texas-based Uranium Resources Inc. and its proposed uranium operations.

Known as Resolution RDCD-69-13, it created an RDC subcommittee tasked witsh granting URI its right-of-way to properties in Church Rock, N.M., as well as developing a mutual beneficial agreement between the Navajo Nation and URI.

Yazzie's legislation comes after the subcommittee entertained URI on two separate occasions, with the most recent conversation on March 17 being about URI's access to Section 17 and possible cleanup standards it could employ on the site, before it can carrying out its proposed in-situ leach uranium demonstration project on the Section 8 site, according to a temporary access agreement it signed with the tribe in 2012. URI has license from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to conduct its uranium operations in Church Rock.  
"This whole uranium issue should have been taken before the Council," Yazzie said, explaining why he's sponsoring the "anti-RDC/URI bill. "This item needs to be heard, not just by a subcommittee of two."

Through the resolution, which the RDC passed in December 2013, the committee voted members Leonard Tsosie and Leonard Pete to lead the subcommittee. The subcommittee also includes Navajo Nation Department of Justice Attorney David Taylor and Navajo Nation Division of Natural Resources Executive Director Frederick White.

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