News Releases from Region 09
EPA awards Clawson Excavating Inc. a $646,383 contract for work in Cove, Arizona
COVE, Ariz. –The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded Clawson Excavating a $646,383 contract to control erosion in the vicinity of former uranium mines in the Cove Chapter on the Navajo Nation. There are approximately 32 abandoned uranium mine sites in the Cove area.
“We’re very pleased to be working with a Navajo-owned company that employs tribal members,” said Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Mike Stoker. “Since last year, Clawson has been awarded $1.56 million in competitive contracts that address uranium mining contamination in and around the Navajo Nation.”
Clawson’s work will stabilize erosion encroaching on a disposal repository located at the Mesa II Mine Site in the Cove Chapter. Activities include preparing the access road for equipment, stabilizing erosion affecting the disposal cell, and constructing a water diversion channel at the site. This action is part of the larger effort to address abandoned uranium mines and the waste rock associated with these mines in and around the Navajo Nation.
The work is expected to begin this summer and is scheduled to be completed within two months.
Funding for the contract comes from the approximately $1 billion settlement with Tronox Inc. (formerly Kerr-McGee Corporation) for the assessment and cleanup of over 50 abandoned uranium mines.
During the Cold War, 30 million tons of uranium ore were mined on or adjacent to the Navajo Nation, leaving more than 500 abandoned mines. Since 2008, EPA has conducted preliminary investigations at all of the mines, remediated over 50 contaminated structures, provided safe drinking water to 3,013 families in partnership with the Indian Health Service, and performed cleanup, stabilization work, or placed signs and fences at around 30 mines. In total, EPA has reached enforcement agreements and settlements valued at $1.7 billion to reduce the highest risks of radiation exposure to the Navajo people from abandoned uranium mines. As a result, funding is now available to assess and clean up 219 of the 523 abandoned uranium mines. Cleanup of the abandoned uranium mines is a closely coordinated effort between EPA, the Navajo Nation and other federal agencies.
For more information, please visit: https://19january2021snapshot.epa.gov/navajo-nation-uranium-cleanup