Tribes concerned over health effects of uranium contamination
Tribal officials on the Wind River Reservation continue to seek answers after the Department of Energy announced that uranium was found in some residents' tap water. DOE officials announced last week that data collected in the fall indicated that four households near a former uranium waste site had levels of uranium nearly twice the legal limit. Dean Goggles is executive Director for the Wind River Environmental Quality Commission. He says tribal members are currently faced with more questions than answers. “I think we need to re-test again and look at the results and see what it shows us,” Goggles said. “But for the future for the site itself, we're still looking at it, we still have a lot of questions. I have to answer to the residents down there, so I have to ask those questions too.” Goggles says his main concern is health and human safety of area residents. There are approximately 40 people using the same water source: a pipeline paid for and installed by the Department of Energy in 1998 after the Department announced that groundwater in the area posed a hazard due to high levels of uranium in the water table and soil.