Friday, May 26, 2006

Report on Uranium Project

by Harold J. One Feather
May 27, 2006

First of all, I am a volunteer for the Defenders of the Black Hills and am honored to be one.

My report will be short and will describe to you my goals, objectives and accomplishments as this relates to the Custer National Forest abandoned uranium mines and the extreme health crises in Rock Creek (Bullhead, SD) on the Standing Rock Sioux Indian Reservation.

I call your attention to the issue of extreme genocide and racism against our people occurring in northern South Dakota resulting from the radioactively contaminated abandoned uranium mines in the Custer National Forest. I have been involved in this issue for nearly ten years beginning in 1997 and have conducted an intensive examination of the facts relating to this critical issue.

In the Rock Creek community, there is an increasing rate of health problems: cancer and cancer deaths, miscarriages and ectopic pregnancies, diabetes and kidney diseases, and, sadly, birth defects. I have lost my mother to cancer, my father died of a heart disease, two of my aunts died of cancer, my niece has had two miscarriages and an ectotopic pregnancy; this is my testimony to you, others in the Rock Creek community have the same health problems. That there is an extreme health emergency on the Standing Rock Sioux Indian Reservation is not the question, I ask what can we do about this, for our future generations, for those that have lost our relatives?

As one man with limited resources, I could do nothing, my pleas were routinely ignored although I presented the facts to our tribal leadership, and to my community. Feeling a sense of hopelessness, I almost gave up and would have left my reservation with a guilty conscience knowing that our people are dying needlessly.

I have then asked in 2004 for the,help of'the Defenders of the Black Hills to deliver this message to concerned individuals and to governmental officials: Our people are dying and are getting sick from the abandoned uranium mines.

To date, the Defenders and I have attended several crucial meetings with the US Forest Service relating to their CERCLA/Superfund remediation actions. I like to think that because of our insistence, they received the $22 million reclamation grant from the US EPA and hopefully will reclaim the mines in the near future. Our next step should be to cause the US Forest Service to consider the extreme health crises on the Standing Rock Sioux Indian Reservation under the CERCLA/Superfund. This will cause the US Forest Service to speed up the Riley Pass abandoned uranium mine reclamation action as well as reclaim the other mines at the South Cave Hills and Slim Buttes. And hopefully this will cause the US EPA to give technical assistance grants to the affected communities and to the Defenders of the Black Hills to have CERCLA/Superfund explained in layman's terms. This way the rights of the people to have a safe environment will assured for future generations of our people.

We must also never forget to make those atomic bombs and nuclear power plants, they, the mining companies, have poisoned our environment and hurt our people, and they must be held accountable for their radioactively contaminated toxic mines. Tronox, formerly Kerr-McGee, must not be allowed any leniency since they have did a very unexcusable crime against our people.

We have also caused the State of South Dakota to initiate their surface water quality monitoring program for the western river basins except for the Bad River and will sample the water for radionuclide contamination. The Defenders must establish their proposed water quality monitoring project to compare these results with the States' results. To do properly implement the project, we will need funds and a budget, a sampling plan, sampling kits and supplies, intensive research on water issues, a quality assurance and assessment policy manual, and maps.

As some of you know I have volunteered to lead the MySpace group "Defenders of the Black Hills" (http://groups.myspace.com/defendblackhills) and have gained the support for several key MySpacers. I have placed four videos on the group main page: 1.) Destruction of the Black Hills; 2.) Riley Pass Mining Spoils; 3.) Picnic Springs; and, 4.) Riley Pass Mine. I have also included many important links to the uranium issues in our area including several key photographs of the Riley Pass uranium mine. In my photoblog at MSN Spaces (http://spaces.msn.com/uraniummine) I have many more photos and links to this areas newspaper story about the uranium issue. We have 124 members who are very interested in our activities concerning the Riley Pass mine and the others in the Custer National Forest. We have also all worked on a letter that we should all send to the State governor and to our Congress persons.

With the help of John LeKay (http://www.heyokamagazine.com), we have also established the Silkwood Project (http://www.silkwoodproject.com) which has interviews from myself, Dr. Helen Caldicott, world-renown nuclear activist; Timothy Benally, Navajo nuclear activist; Doug Brugge, Tufts University nuclear activist; Diane Stearns, Northern Arizona University biochemist, and William Under Baggage, Indigenous Nations Network environmentalist. The site is full of interesting and scary articles about uranium issues. I would highly recommend that everyone read these articles, John is very thorough in his writing and is extremely intelligent; we are very fortunate that he is helping the Defenders by publicizing our fight for environmental protection and for the uranium issue

3 comments:

Porgie Tirebiter, Royce Penstinger and Pinto Bean said...

You are too be commended for your efforts. Only when we all join forces as one can we address the various ills that are the uranium atomic energy fuel cycle circle. If I and Green Nuclear Butterfly can be of any help, if our blog can provide space for your articles, please let me know.

Sherwood, publisher of Green Nuclear Butterfly

Gail said...

You should know about the Baby Tooth Study done by Radiation and Public Health Project (radiation.org) Nuclear emissions are now passing not just in the air, water and milk, but also from mother to infant during pregnancy. This is why the younger generations are sicker than the older generations. The NRC states that 50% of the US population lives within 50 miles of a nuclear plant. Radiation.org published statistical data that women who live within 100 miles of a nuclear plant have the greatest risk of dying of breast cancer. Strontium-90 nuclear emission acts like calcium and goes to the bones and teeth. The daughter product is Yttrium-90 which goes to the soft tissue, including the reproductive, lungs, pancreas and heart. This comes from Dr. Sternglass, medical physicist who had appointments with Einstein, at radiation.org I found this out after I got breast cancer at age 48, eleven months after my mother died of breast cancer; she got hers at age 68. My tumor is NOT genetic. My mother lived on Long Island, NY which is downwind of 3 nuclear plants: Millstone in CT, Indian Point in NY and the northern plant in NJ. The state of CT now has 14 year old girls with breast cancer, according to the CT Tumor Registry.
We all need to pull together, to expose the destruction linked to nuclear power.

igmuska said...

Thanks...as we are learning more and more about the complexity, including the duplicities, of the entire nuclear cycle, we'll probably see more communities that have been affected by radioactive contaminants, causing health crises that are difficult to prove without scientists, doctors and lawyers as is the case in Bullhead, South Dakota.