要求鈾礦業退出家園 美原住民告上聯邦機構 | 環境資訊中心

要求鈾礦業退出家園 美原住民告上聯邦機構

2008年04月24日
摘譯自2008年4月19日ENS美國,新墨西哥州,聖塔菲報導;鄭佳宜編譯;蔡麗伶審校

一但鈾礦開採,納瓦侯族(Navajo)在皇冠巨岩和教堂岩兩區的居民將失去其土地。圖片來源:NMELC美國核能管理委員會(NRC)因核發鈾礦開發執照,將首次出庭聯邦上訴法院。新墨西哥州納瓦侯族(Navajo)在皇冠巨岩和教堂岩兩區的居民,將控告核管會和獲准開採的水力資源公司(Hydro Resources, Inc),要求他們退出新墨西哥州的納瓦侯印地安保留地。

公眾投資營運的鈾礦資源公司(Uranium Resources)總部在達拉斯,水力資源公司為其子公司,目前正和日本最大商社之一的伊藤忠周商社( Itochu Corporation)合夥評估和開發教堂岩礦區。

5月12日,新墨西哥環境保護法律中心將代表兩個社區,對聯邦上訴法院第十巡迴庭提出口頭辯護,要求擱置核管會准允的鈾礦開採決定。當地社團「東納瓦侯反鈾礦開採」(ENDAUM)和西南研究(Southwest Research)和資訊中心都對此案予以協助。

ENDAUM是第一個因核管會的核可鈾礦區原料開採許可,起而與之相抗的社區組織。

隨著鈾礦價格在過去7年從每磅7美元攀升到68美元,這場抗爭愈形重要。新墨西哥州2007年收到礦業公司申請探勘許可案件激增,面前仍有上打的申請等待審理。

水力資源公司提出四處礦區,兩個在教堂岩,主要是考其為早期開發礦區,另外兩個在皇冠巨岩,則屬是空氣和水質仍純淨的輕度開發區。

2005年4月19日,納瓦侯自治政府明令保留地內的鈾礦全面禁採,2006年5月核管會卻核可上述四處礦區探勘許可。2007年,新墨西哥州環境保護法律中心核管會提出訴訟,推翻核管會發出上述的探勘執照。

住在教堂岩地區的Wilamina Yazzie,他住家後面就是鈾礦預計的開發地之一。圖片來源:NMELC代表納瓦侯的律師團提出數項抗辯理由,包括水力資源公司規劃的財務獨立,不足以確保維持礦區資源不受污染,而該公司無法承擔開發礦區對土地和水資源所造成的後果。

2007年8月,美國環保署在一份研究中明列520處廢棄鈾礦區;2008年3月另外發佈「五年行動計畫」,陳述廢棄礦坑和相關議題:從1997年到2007年,政府已投入1億9千3百萬來解決廢棄鈾礦區衍生相關污染問題,接下來5年的明確預算仍屬未知。

Navajo Challenge Uranium Mining Permit on Tribal Lands
SANTA FE, New Mexico, April 19, 2008 (ENS)

For the first time in history, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, NRC, will be challenged in federal appeals court for its approval of a source materials license for an in situ leach uranium mine.

The Navajo communities of Crownpoint and Church Rock, New Mexico will fight the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the permitted company, Hydro Resources, Inc., demanding that they stay off Navajo lands in New Mexico.

Hydro Resources, Inc. is a subsidiary of the publicly-traded corporation Uranium Resources, based in Dallas. The company has established a partnership with Itochu Corporation, one of Japan's largest corporations, to evaluate and develop the Church Rock site.

On behalf of the two communities, the New Mexico Environmental Law Center will present oral arguments on May 12 to a panel of judges of the U.S. Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver asking that the NRC decision to allow the uranium mining be set aside.

The communities' case is being presented with the assistance of the community group Eastern Navajo Dine against Uranium Mining, or ENDAUM, and the Southwest Research and Information Center.
ENDAUM is the first community group ever to fight the Nuclear Regulatory Commission on a source materials permit for an in situ leach uranium mine.

The fight is growing in importance as the price of uranium has increased during the past seven years, rising from $7 per pound to $68 per pound. As a result, there has been steep rise in the number of exploratory permits requested by mining companies during the past year for lands in New Mexico, with a dozen applications currently under review.

Hydro Resources, Inc. has proposed four mines - two in Church Rock, where there has been considerable previous uranium mining, and two in Crownpoint, where little mining has taken place and air and water are still pure.

Despite a Navajo Nation ban on uranium mining on Navajo land imposed April 19, 2005, the NRC approved the license for all four sites in May 2006.

The New Mexico Environmental Law Center filed a lawsuit in 2007 against the NRC to overturn the license.
Finally, the attorneys for the Navajo communities argue that Hydro Resources' proposed financial bond is inadequate to ensure that the sites would be cleaned up in the event that the company is unable to undertake reclamation of the land and/or water impacted by the mining.

In August 2007, the EPA completed a study identifying 520 abandoned uranium mines. In March, the EPA published a Five Year Action Plan to address the abandoned uranium mines and related issues. Costs of dealing with these problems have been $193 million in the 10 years from 1997 through 2007, according to this action plan and exact costs of the five year plan were not given.

全文及圖片詳見:ENS

作者

蔡麗伶(LiLing Barricman)

In my healing journey and learning to attain the breath awareness, I become aware of the reality that all the creatures of the world are breathing the same breath. Take action, here and now. From my physical being to the every corner of this out of balance's planet.