Eastern Navajo Diné Against Uranium Mining (“ENDAUM”), on behalf of its members,and Mitchell Capitan, Rita Capitan, Christine Smith, Keithlynn Smith, Kenneth Smith, and LarryKing, on their own behalf, hereby submit this petition to the Inter-American Commission onHuman Rights (“IACHR”) against the United States (“the State”). By its acts and omissions thathave contaminated and will continue to contaminate natural resources in the Diné communitiesof Crownpoint and Church Rock, the State has violated Petitioners’ human rights and breachedits obligations under the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man.In Diné
Indian Country in northwestern New Mexico, suffering is measured inmilligrams per liter, millirems, and picocuries. These are the units that measure radiationexposures for the residents who live near the proposed
leach (“ISL” or “solution”)uranium mines that have been licensed by the State through its constituent administrative agencythe United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (“NRC”), despite an ongoing sixty-year legacy of environmental contamination and public health disasters from past uranium mining.The Navajo Nation hosts 520 abandoned uranium mine sites and three uranium mill sitesthat are Superfund
These sites are the source of contamination for tens of millions of gallons of groundwater and countless acres of land.These sites are also the cause of significant illnesses and death in the indigenouscommunities located nearby. Exposure to uranium and its decay products causes an array of
The indigenous people of the Navajo Nation refer to themselves as Diné.
“Superfund” is the fund created by the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act(“CERCLA”) of 1980, 41 U.S.C. § 9601
. It is also the name given to the U.S. Environmental ProtectionAgency (“EPA”) program that oversees abandoned hazardous waste sites.
United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”), Abandoned Uranium Mines on the Navajo Nation,http://yosemite.epa.gov/r9/sfund/r9sfdocw.nsf/ ViewByEPAID/NNN000906087?OpenDocument#descr .