Navajo-Owned Company to Fix Road to Access Abandoned Uranium Mines

Mar 28, 2018

A small Navajo-owned company has been awarded a contract to upgrade a road needed to clean up abandoned uranium mine sites on the reservation.

An abandoned uranium mine site on the Navajo Nation near Cameron.
Credit Joshua Lott for The New York Times

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced the nearly $920,000 contract this week to Clawson Excavating Inc. The company will improve a road in Cove that leads to 32 former mining sites.

The improvements include modifying the road slope, stabilizing the surface and controlling erosion. The work is expected to take 60 days.

The contract is funded through a roughly $1 billion settlement with the successor of a company that extensively mined the area. Mining companies extracted nearly 30 million tons of uranium on and around the reservation for Cold War weaponry.

Testing has revealed high concentrations of uranium in the soil and groundwater.