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Navajo leader declares uranium legacy action day

Published July 16, 2011 10:32 am
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. • Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly has declared Saturday as "Uranium Legacy Remembrance and Action Day."

The proclamation was issued to commemorate the 32nd anniversary of a uranium tailings spill near Church Rock, N.M., as well as six decades of impacts from uranium mining on the reservation.

Elected officials and other community leaders planned to gather in the Church Rock area Saturday morning for a prayer and a march to the site of the July 16, 1979 spill.

That day, millions of gallons of acidic water poured into the north fork of the Rio Puerco after an earthen uranium tailings dam failed. Within days, contaminated tailings liquid was found 50 miles downstream in Arizona.

There will also be a discussion Saturday evening in Gallup about nuclear fuel and radioactive contamination.




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