Historic settlement for uranium mining contamination in the Navajo Nation

Navajo uranium miners

The federal government announced…the largest environmental settlement in United States history is final. Anadarko Petroleum and its subsidiaries will now shell out $5.15 billion for abandoning uranium mines on the Navajo Nation and other contamination they left around the country.

Over the years Anadarko has acquired several companies including Kerr-McGee, which mined more than seven million tons of uranium ore on the Navajo Nation during the Cold War.

Environmental Protection Agency spokesman Jared Blumenfeld said the companies tried to pass along billions of dollars in cleanup obligations to a subsidiary called Tronox and then attempted to bankrupt that company. Blumenfeld said people have fought a long time to get “the polluter to pay…”

More than a billion dollars will pay to clean up about 50 abandoned uranium mines on and around the Navajo Nation.

“It will mean we can immediately begin work on these sites,” Blumenfeld said. “It also means a real boost for their economy. We want to make sure these jobs stay on the Navajo Nation.”

Another $1.1 billion will go to clean up chemical manufacturing contamination near Lake Mead. Each day as much as a hundred pounds of perchlorate, a component of rocket fuel, is still leaking into the reservoir that millions of people rely on for drinking water.

I hope some of the settlement is set aside for long-term care for Navajo uranium miners. Many basic safety regulations outside of Native American mines somehow never made to any Tribal lands.

Some of the resulting ailments – like Navajo Neuropathy – affected the succeeding generation. Leaving them without direct linkage to crap working conditions. You didn’t have to work the uranium mines to be affected.

There’s sensible alternative commutes – and then there’s freezing your whatchacallits!

In many cities, pedestrians get sidewalks to travel on, bicyclists have their own lanes and obviously automobiles do, as well. But Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, might at least consider a proposal to add one more to that list, seasonally anyway, with the introduction of a specific route for ice skaters.

Dubbed the Freezeway, the 6.8 miles of ice through Edmonton would use existing pathways in the city, including an abandoned rail line, according to Wired. Building curbs along each side of the route would allow water to freeze. The proposal is still being finalized in terms of location and cost, but in the summer months, bicyclists could use the lanes or artificial ice could handle skaters all year long.

The concept for the Freezeway was the brainchild of Matt Gibbs who came up with the idea in his master’s thesis in landscape architecture. He’s “trying to find ways to make people fall in love with winter as opposed to as if was some unbearable curse,” Gibbs said to Wired.

Conceivably the lanes could appeal to those simply looking for recreation or be actual transportation for some folks to commute to work. A very similar idea is already at work in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, where people skate on the Rideau Canal in the winter (pictured above), and in Helsinki, Finland, it is common for people to ski on the city’s waterways in the winter.

I presume there will be the option of occasional fuel stops along the routes – purveying both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages of your choice.

Governor Susana manages to kill $100 million in Health Exchange funding

Not unless the governor says so!

A sharply worded letter from Governor Susana Martinez to the Secretary of Health and Human Services cost New Mexico almost $100 million in funding to build out and run our state’s health exchange, and that has exchange staff scrambling to build a new exchange without any money.

Staff of the health exchange (NMHIX) say that there appears to be no process to appeal or reapply and New Mexico appears to be the only state in the country denied funding to complete the build out of the state’s insurance exchange, publicly known as Be Well NM.

New Mexico has already received $122.3 million from the federal government ($34.3M in 2011, $18.6M in 2013, $69.4 in 2014) to set up and run the exchange through the end of 2014.

In November 2014, states were permitted to apply for additional funds to build out the remaining parts of their state-based exchanges and operate for three full years, beginning in January 2015…

But when the state submitted it’s application to the federal government for funding, it included letters from state leaders, including Governor Martinez and then-Secretary of Human Services, Sidone Squier.

These two dimwit Republicans questioned whether or not the changes would be beneficial – and they saw no reason to follow Federal uniform standards and procedures. About as elitist, parochial and incompetent as you can get.

Result? New Mexico is the only state of those applying for additional funds to update and codify a hybrid health exchange – to be refused. The Feds point out it was the letters from Governor Susana and Sidone Squier that encouraged that decision.

RTFA from ProgressNowNM. All the details, planned uses, dotted i’s and crossed t’s are there.

We need a baloney detection kit

Test all the crap stuck into the brains of fear-driven culture — about sex, GMO food, climate change, sex, vaccination, sex, mandatory education. Everything loonies on the Left or Right want to runaway and hide from – and stop anyone else from examining or using.

All anti-science. Even though science enabled our species getting to where we are – from our cave-dwelling days and nights.

Well, from primitive agriculture forward. I can imagine the Shaman’s Association condemning the wheel as endangering future generations.