The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) Region 9 is working to protect the residents of the BACA / Haystack Chapter by cleaning up leftover mine waste from past uranium mining operations.
Uranium mining operations occurred throughout the Navajo Nation from the 1940s to the 1980s. The Cobb Nuclear Company operated uranium mines in the BACA / Haystack Chapter area. Uranium ore was mined and taken out of the area. The US EPA is looking at the mine area called the Section 26..
At the Section 26 mine, there are numerous areas of exposed uranium ore / rocks that have been piled up and left scattered through the property. Also at least one old mine adit is visible
The leftover uranium ore has more radiation than the surrounding area and people should avoid touching it or walking near the mines.
The USEPA Region 9 Superfund Emergency Response Section will conduct a preliminary assessment of uranium ore and mining waste at the Section 26 mine. We will share this information and talk with the community about cleanup options once complete.