URI subcommittee disregards AG's opinion

By Alastair Lee Bitsoi
Navajo Times

WINDOW ROCK, Feb. 27, 2014

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A legal opinion from the Navajo Department of Justice isn't stopping a subcommittee of the Resources and Development Committee from allowing Uranium Resources Inc., to move forward with an in-situ uranium recovery demonstration project in Church Rock, N.M.

At the first meeting last Friday of a subcommittee dedicated to dealing with the URI issue, chair Leonard Tsosie (Baca-Prewitt/Casamero Lake/Counselor/ Littlewater/Ojo Encino/ Pueblo Pintado/Torreon/Whitehorse) told fellow members that Navajo Nation Attorney General Harrison Tsosie's Feb. 21 opinion doesn't invalidate existing law.

The law in question is a Dec. 23 bill that the RDC passed, which created the subcommittee and also grants URI access to its properties to conduct a uranium demonstration project in an effort to show the public their operation is safe, unlike past conventional uranium mining activities. URI has a license from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to conduct its uranium operations in Church Rock on the Section 17 and 8 properties.

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