Golad County officials, suing Uranium Energy Corp. for allegedly fouling area water supplies, have opened the suit to local landowners. Many have been chomping for a shot at the Canadian penny-trade offshoot, thanks to poor public relations, shoddy practices, and the appearance of slimy water in area wells since drilling began.
I’ve been down to the groundwater conservation district office a couple times and handled the same paperwork that the company is attempting to use to establish a “baseline” for regional water quality. The problem is, the sample data was collected by the members primarily after exploration drilling operations got underway. The district folks — as well as county Farm Bureau President Pat Calhoun (right) — say those numbers have slid in a less-than-healthy direction and aren’t suitable for use as baseline figures.
In a couple cases where previous water quality data exists, there has been a sharp rise in the radioactivity in the water —or what the Express-News calls “a substantial increase in minerals and iron.”
The lawsuit has done wonders for UEC’s stock valuation (about it’s only real asset), now trading around $2.50 per share. Others hope the suit gets the attention of state regulators, who must review a series of applications before the company will be allowed to operate an in-situ uranium mine in this unconfined drinking water aquifer.
Those interested in Goliad developments may also enjoy reading the recent reporting up at High Desert Reports.
First, there was the speech by the NRC Commissioner apparently oblivious to the battle to remine the Navajo Nation in opposition to tribal law.
Laura Paskus writes:
while he does mention the Navajo Nation’s Dine Natural Resources Protection Act, which bans all uranium mining and processing on the reservation, he doesn’t mention that the Navajo government as well as local activists have spent the last decade fighting the NRC’s approval of a uranium in situ leach mine on the Navajo reservation. You can read his speech in its entirety here.
Now there is a fine response from enviro attorney Eric Jantz, of the New Mexico Environmental Law Center.
Here’s his closer:
Finally, rather than taking responsibility for the NRC’s part in the public health and environmental nightmare visited upon the people of northwestern New Mexico from past uranium mining and milling, Commissioner Lyons was quick to point out that the NRC does not regulate uranium mining or abandoned uranium mine sites. In fact, the NRC considers radiation from uranium mine waste “background radiation”; treating waste exactly like radiation from the sun or from natural outcrops of uranium bearing rock. In other words, the NRC’s position is that your dying family members and contaminated water and air are not its problems.
You folks in Goliad, and Kingsville, and across the South Texas uranium belt, may want to study up on the history of the Rez.
Or you can rely on the X-News, which closes its most recent story, innocuously enough:
Jablonski, who is trying to fill nine open positions in her department to keep up with the work, believes the mining can be done safely but acknowledges that controversy will continue.
“Radioactive materials raise emotion with people,” she said. “It’s just part of the territory.”
Those damned emotions… and radon clouds and cancer.