There are hundreds of abandoned uranium mines in northwestern New Mexico. Many companies walked away from previous mining sites when the price of uranium plummeted, leaving a toxic mess which continues to threaten public health and safety.
Despite this extensive legacy of uranium mining, we hear very little of the adverse impacts it has left behind in our rural communities. Neither a comprehensive health study or water quality study have been conducted to truly asses these impacts – but there are increased rates of various health disparities in contaminated communities. For example, state health assessments report that between 2008 and 2010, cancer was the leading cause of death in McKinley County.
Protecting our air, land and water begins with the people of New Mexico. It is vital that communities most affected by uranium legacy contamination, like Grants and Gallup, come together to talk about these issues, which is what our sister organization CVNM Education Fund has been making happen for more than a year. Western New Mexico Organizer Talia Boyd continues her work within these communities to raise awareness of the legacy waste issue – and the same communities will be rallying at the Legislature so that our legislators will be aware of the continuing health and environmental impacts from uranium mining.
After a 9:30 a.m. press conference, we will have talking points and fact sheets to help you talk to your legislators about priority issues, such as requesting a base-line health study in impacted communities.