In a February letter to the Department of Energy, Gov. Matt Mead expressed concern that the passive handling of uranium contamination on the Wind River Reservation might not be living up to the DOE’s remedial action plan.
The DOE asserted that the site would clean itself up after 100 years, and despite that uranium tailings were removed from the site decades ago, spikes in uranium were measured in DOE monitoring wells in 2010.
“My view is ‘hey, it’s in the state of Wyoming, it’s a state issue’,” says Mead. There is, in my mind, some confusion or at least doubt on how this last years flooding impacted that and whether or not this 100 year remediation process is accurate.”
DOE Secretary Chu responded to Mead this week agreeing about the time frame for remediation, and said his department would have to work more closely with the tribes.
However, both Mead and the Tribes want more input on the site, and the governor says that he will continue pushing to make sure an agreement can be made between all involved parties so that health and safety on the Reservation can be protected.