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‘Yíiyáh – yikes’: Leaders, officials discuss uranium waste transport, storage at Thoreau landfill

‘Yíiyáh – yikes’: Leaders, officials discuss uranium waste transport, storage at Thoreau landfill

THOREAU, N.M. – Tribal, federal and state officials convened Aug. 6 at Thoreau Chapter House for a public meeting regarding radioactive waste transport and storage.

‘Yíiyáh – yikes’, Leaders, officials discuss uranium waste transport, storage at Thoreau landfill

Navajo Times | Rick Abasta
New Mexico Representative Harry Garcia (D-Dist. 69) shared some comments regarding the proposed uranium waste transport and storage at the Thoreau landfill.

The U.S. EPA and Navajo EPA are proposing obtaining a permit from the state of New Mexico to use the Red Rock Regional Landfill to store radioactive waste from uranium mining in northwest New Mexico.

Chapter secretary-treasurer Judy Platero moderated the meeting and began discussions by prefacing an email sent to Thoreau Chapter the week before the meeting regarding the proposed plans to transport uranium waste and store it at the community landfill in perpetuity.

‘Yíiyáh – yikes’, Leaders, officials discuss uranium waste transport, storage at Thoreau landfill

Navajo Times | Rick Abasta
Resources and Development Committee chair Brenda Jesus of the 25th Navajo Nation Council was among the tribal leaders in attendance for the public meeting.

“What’s the waste transport in the email? We were told it’s uranium transport. Yíiyáh – yikes,” she said.

Platero said the chapter was informed that 70,000 truckloads of mine waste would be traveling through the community for disposal at the landfill in Thoreau. She continuously reiterated the need for information, details of the plan, and transparency.

“We hope to find that information today,” she said. “I respectfully ask for transparency.”

Read the full story in the Aug. 17 edition of the Navajo Times.


About The Author

Rick Abasta

Rick Abasta is a Navajo writer residing in Gallup, New Mexico. He was born in Ft. Defiance and raised in Window Rock and St. Michaels, Ariz.

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