Letter to the editor: Threatening vital water supplies makes us all downstreamers

Downwinders to Downstreamers:

Bravo to Rep. Paul Gosar for the unanimous passage of Amendment 63 of the National Defense Authorization Act that recommends compensation for those suffering cancers resulting from nuclear fallout from atmospheric testing by the U.S. government.

In his press release (May 23, 2018), Gosar pledged, “I will not relent until justice is served and suffering Americans receive some form of compensation for the government negligence that ruined many of their lives.”

He called the amendment “a step in the right direction.”

We who rely on the waters of the Colorado River basin ask that he and all our elected officials keep stepping!

Do step up to stop uranium mining in Grand Canyon’s watersheds. Do take the next step in keeping the 20-year ban on new mining claims on our public lands that drain directly into the canyon. Please listen to your Native American constituents who say “No more uranium mining.”

All agree that the fallout from an atmospheric atomic test cannot “be called back.”

But neither can the dangerous poisoning of our precious groundwater.

Much of the uranium mined to supply the atomic testing in Nevada was taken from Navajo and Hopi lands where their wells and springs remain too polluted to drink.

We are ALL ‘downstreamers’ with our vital water supplies threatened by state and federal agencies issuing permits that allow miners to mix contaminated water into aquifers and to pump it into open ponds.

Energy Fuels’ Canyon uranium mine near Grand Canyon National Park’s busiest entrance is just one example of continuing radioactive pollution.

We urge Congressman Gosar to take the next step in joining Arizona citizens who support cleaning up the entire legacy of our nuclear testing era and who overwhelmingly oppose uranium mining within Grand Canyon’s watersheds.

Carol Thomson, Flagstaff, Arizona

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