Abandoned Uranium Mining Clean Up Campaign to be Announced on Earth Day
Rapid City, South Dakota — Defenders of Black Hills and Clean Up The Mines are hosting an Earth Day media event to announce a nationwide campaign for clean up of all abandoned uranium mines in the United States.
More than 10,000 abandoned uranium mines (AUMs) are located throughout the US, primarily in the Western States, and more than 10 million people live within a 50 mile radius of an abandoned uranium mine.
“These hazardous abandoned uranium mines poison our air, land and water. The health effects are tremendous.” says Charmaine White Face, a volunteer with Clean Up The Mines and member of Defenders of Black Hills. “Currently no laws require clean up of these dangerous abandoned uranium mines. We are letting Congress know; it’s time to clean up the mines!” says Ms. White Face.
“A private abandoned, open pit uranium mine about 200 meters from an elementary school in Ludlow, South Dakota, emits 1770 microRems per hour, more than 4 times as much as is being emitted in many locations evacuated long term as a result of contamination by the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster in Japan,” said Nuclear Health Professor Kim Kearfott, Ph. D., University of Michigan.
South Dakota has at least 272 abandoned open-pit uranium mines. There are 169 AUMs located in the southwestern Black Hills and 103 in the northwest corner near Buffalo, SD. The Northern Great Plains Region of Montana, Wyoming, North and South Dakota contains more than 2,000 plus AUMs.
What: Earth Day media event to announce a national campaign for clean up of all abandoned uranium mines in the United States.
A potluck lunch will follow the event, weather permitting.
When: 10:00 AM (MST), Tuesday, April 22, 2014.
Plan on arriving at 9:30 and bring your own chairs.
Where: Cheyenne River bridge on SD Highway 40, located 15 miles southeast of Hermosa, SD
Who: Defenders of Black Hills, Popular Resistance, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, and Veterans for Peace. Oglala Sioux and other Tribal officials are also invited to the event as Cheyenne River contamination impacts Red Shirt Village which is on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
Visuals: Colorful banners, and signs saying, “Warning! Radioactive River” will be placed near the bridge to address the radioactive contamination of the Cheyenne River.
Clean Up The Mines (www.cleanupthemines.org) is a campaign to pass legislation through congress to ensure clean up of hazardous abandoned uranium mines throughout the US.
Defenders of the Black Hills (www.defendblackhills.org) is a group of volunteers without racial or tribal boundaries whose mission is to preserve, protect, and restore the area of the 1851 and 1868 Treaties made between the United States and the Great Sioux Nation.
Note to editors: Clean Up The Mines representatives will be available for interviews. High resolution photos and b-roll will be also available.