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U.S. Government Announces $1 Billion for Abandoned Uranium Mine Cleanup on the Navajo Nation

Release Date: 04/03/2014
Contact Information: Margot Perez-Sullivan, (415) 947-4149, perezsullivan.margot@epa.gov

SAN FRANCISCO – A settlement announced today by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Justice secured approximately $1 billion in funds to clean up 10 percent of abandoned uranium mines on the Navajo Nation.

The funds, going to both the EPA and the Navajo Nation, will be used to clean up contamination, which includes radioactive waste near communities, resulting from approximately 50 uranium mines that were operated by Kerr McGee during the Cold War.

“The painful legacy of abandoned uranium mines on the Navajo Nation is one big step closer to being remedied through today’s historic $1 billion settlement,” said Jared Blumenfeld EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “Working together with our partners at Navajo EPA, we will be able to clean up 50 uranium mines throughout the reservation.”

The settlement requires Anadarko and Kerr McGee to pay a total of $5.15 billion to resolve fraudulent conveyance claims based on allegations that the defendants sought to evade their liability for environmental contamination at toxic sites around the country. Of this total, approximately $4.4 billion will be used for environmental cleanup. This is the largest amount of money ever awarded in a bankruptcy-related settlement for environmental cleanup.

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