Pages Menu
Categories Menu

Posted on Jul 5, 2016 in MASE in the News

Largest radioactive spill in U.S. history on Navajo Nation recalled

Largest radioactive spill in U.S. history on Navajo Nation recalled

By Talli Nauman, Native Sun News, Health & Environment Editor

June 30, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. –– Anticipating that “a large scale radiation contamination incident could impact the United States,” the EPA is giving the public until July 25 to comment on proposed guidelines for emergency drinking water safety.

The guidelines, or Protective Action Guides (PAGs) are supposed to “help federal, state, local, tribal officials and public water systems make decisions about use of water during radiological emergencies.”

The EPA “seeks to balance the goal of keeping radiation doses as low as possible with the practical and logistical challenges of providing alternative drinking water during the response to a disaster.”

……One such event was United Nuclear Corp.’s uranium mill tailings spill at Church Rock in the Navajo Nation, where some 94 million gallons of radioactive liquid broke the dam of an evaporation pond, washing into the Rio Puerco channel, which carried it downstream past Gallup, New Mexico, and all the way to Winslow, Ariz.

Documented as the largest radioactive materials release in U.S. history, the disaster 37 years ago, in July 1979, resulted in a Superfund site, prompting members of the Diné from the nearby Red Water Pond Road Community to testify in April 2016 to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights about being denied equal access to quality drinking water for decades.

Read the full article