There are 15,000 abandoned mining sites in New Mexico. 259 of these sites are old uranium mines. Three of them on the Navajo Nation and the Laguna and Acoma Pueblos cause high levels of cancer. In Grant County, there are active copper mines with inadequate restoration plans. Local and Indigenous communities have worked for decades to get stronger mining operation standards and to force mine owners to clean up their pollution. Surface water and groundwater quality is also harmed by contamination from military bases, dairies, manufacturing and commercial sites, and old septic systems.
We work with community members and leaders to stop new mining unless it can meet stringent standards, and we partner to create solutions for mining waste and site restoration. We work to ensure our communities and the water resources they rely on are safe and can support cultural practices and outdoor recreation.
ANNUAL REMEMBRANCE OF THE CHURCHROCK URANIUM TAILINGS SPILL
Every year, tribal and pueblo members and supporters gather to commemorate the July 16, 1979 spill at United Nuclear Corporation’s mill tailings pond. It is the largest release of radioactive material in U.S. history, but received almost no coverage compared to the much smaller Three Mile Island reactor accident in March of that year. Photo: Larry King, Eastern Navajo Diné Against Uranium Mining (ENDAUM) addresses attendees with the spill site in the distance; credit: CVNM Education Fund Staff/Michael Jensen
CVNM Education Fund partners with and supports these organizations in order to move the needle on Water Quality & Land Restoration.