FARMINGTON — A settlement for more than $600 million has been reached between the United States, the Navajo Nation and two subsidiaries of Freeport-McMoRan Inc. to address the cleanup of 94 abandoned uranium mines.
“It will allow all parties to cooperatively address an environmental issue that has long been an important concern to the Navajo people and, furthermore, will provide job opportunities for members of the Navajo Nation for environmental investigation and remediation work at 94 former uranium mine sites,” Kinneberg said.
The EPA release states that under the settlement, Cyrus Amax and Western Nuclear, both Freeport-McMoRan subsidiaries, have agreed to perform removal site evaluations, engineering evaluations and cost analyses.
In return, the U.S. has agreed to place $335 million into a trust account to help fund the cleanup.
The EPA will collaborate with the tribe’s environmental agency to oversee the work, the release states.