White Mesa Ute Tribal Members, Greenaction & Allies Escalate the Struggle to Close
Energy Fuels’ Uranium Mill in southern Utah
Dear friends of Greenaction,
On Saturday I was once again reminded of how important Greenaction’s work is on the frontlines of environmental justice and taking a stand against racism, pollution and injustice. We are honored to work with the White Mesa Ute Community and the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe in the fight to stop pollution and desecration of sacred sites caused by Energy Fuels’ uranium mill. And now the fight is really escalating with more tribal members and supporters joining in! And now the fight is really escalating with more tribal members and supporters joining in!
Over a hundred people led by tribal members participated in a peaceful protest rally and spiritual walk from White Mesa to the uranium mill. After a 3 mile march, tribal members, Greenaction members, and supporters from across Utah and Arizona were met at the turnoff by mill employees who attempted to block the road with pickup trucks. After funneling past the first roadblock, tribal members and supporters chanted “water is life,” sang traditional Ute Mountain Ute songs, and then returned to the White Mesa Community Center for a community meeting to plan next steps.
The tribal member grassroots group White Mesa Concerned Community, with Greenaction’s help, organized the rally and spiritual walk to express concern about the nation’s last operating uranium mill contaminating water, air, land, and sacred sites, as well as risks to human health. The mill’s radioactive emissions threaten nearby residents, and the mill was built on top of hundreds of ancient and sacred sites, including burials.
“If this mill contaminates our water, where are we going to go?” asked community member Ephraim Dutchie. “For the mill, this is about money. But for us this isn’t about money. As Native Americans, we respect the land that Mother Earth gave us.”
“I’ve lived here 67 years,” said lifelong White Mesa resident and White Mesa Concerned Community organizer Thelma Whiskers. “For so many years that mill has been there blowing dust and polluting our air. We can smell it. We want it shut down and cleaned up. We want our community protected.”
The Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, White Mesa Ute tribal members, Greenaction and our allies will now mobilize to speak out at the State of Utah’s upcoming public hearing and public meeting on Energy Fuels’ proposed renewal of their uranium mill’s radioactive materials license, along with an application by the mill to process toxic waste from a Sequoyah Fuels operation near the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma.
Please support Greenaction as we take on the polluters and government agencies that support them!
Bradley Angel, Executive Director, Greenaction
Demand the State of Utah Deny Permits for
Energy Fuels’ Uranium Mill
June 8, 2017 1-5pm Public Hearing
Utah Department of Environmental Quality
Room 2125, 195 North 1950 West, Salt Lake City, Utah
Deadline to submit questions challenging a proposed permit renewal: May 29, 2017.
Email questions to Director Scott Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org
June 15, 2017
5-7pm Utah Division of Waste Management and Radiation Control Public Meeting (Citizens can offer comments and questions which are recorded)
Blanding Arts and Events Center, 715 West 200, South Blanding, Utah
A 60-day public comment period for the proposed license renewal closes at 5pm on June 30, 2017. Written comments can be submitted by email to email@example.com with the subject line: Public Comment on White Mesa RML Renewal.