Feds reach settlement with Navajos over uranium mine cleanup

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The federal government has reached another settlement with the Navajo Nation that will clear the way for cleanup work to continue at abandoned uranium mines across the largest American Indian reservation in the U.S.

The target includes 46 sites that have been identified as priorities due to radiation levels and their proximity to people. Cleanup work is supposed to be done at 16 abandoned mines while evaluations are planned for another 30 sites.

The agreement announced last week by the U.S. Justice Department settles the tribe’s claims over the costs of engineering evaluations and cleanups at the mines.

The federal government says it has already spent $100 million to address abandoned mines on Navajo lands and a separate settlement reached with DOJ last year was worth more than $13 million.