Arizona Public Radio | Your Source for NPR News
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Mine cleanup bill advances out of committee

An abandoned uranium mine site on the Navajo Nation.
KNAU/Melissa Sevigny
An abandoned uranium mine site on the Navajo Nation.

Legislation to hold the federal government accountable for the cleanup of abandoned hardrock mines passed out of committee this week and is now eligible for a vote on the floor of the U.S. Senate.

The Legacy Mine Clean Up Act was introduced by Arizona Senator Mark Kelly, a Democrat, and Wyoming Senator Cynthia Lummis, a Republican.

It would authorize an office in the Environmental Protection Agency to prioritize and coordinate mine cleanup in collaboration with states and Tribes.

Navajo Nation President Buu Nygren wrote a letter of support last month in favor of the legislation, pointing toward the more than 500 abandoned uranium mines on the Navajo Nation. The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality estimates 100,000 abandoned mine features in the state.