by Greg Harman
There will be a uranium mining teach-in down in Goliad this Saturday. It promises to shed more light on UEC's efforts to mine uranium from shallow water drinking aquifers downriver from San Antonio.
That would place it in prime cattle country and upriver from the oysters, shrimp, and wading birds of San Antonio Bay, fellas.
`For background, see my story Undermining South Texas.`
As reports of uranium mining problems surface in Wyoming, New Mexico, and Texas, Goliad County residents, city and county officials, political candidates, and many others are being invited to attend an educational seminar on April 26, Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to noon in the St. Peter's Lutheran Church hall located at 1645 E. FM 1961 in Ander community. Goliad, supported by its commissioners' court, city council and over 95% of citizens surveyed over a period of a year, is facing the problems of Kleberg and other Texas counties, New Mexico and Wyoming.
Goliad residents have high levels of concern about so called "state of the art" uranium mining company's promises. In 2007 the Wyoming's environmental agency issued a report which stated that PRI has had "an inordinate number of spills, leaks and other releases, inadequate reclamation, inadequate bonding, and problems with staff. There has been both surface and groundwater pollution with radioactive materials and other substances.
Mine site restoration in Wyoming has taken ten years so far -- 2-3 times as long as expected -- and has left groundwater the same quality as when mining ceased. This information is contained in a recent document issued by the environmental agency of Wyoming which is the equivalent of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. (The Investigation Report, dated Nov. 21, 2007)
"The uranium industry keeps saying that they are using new technology, and that modern in situ leach mines are clean and safe," says CARD representative Jay Davis of Wyoming. "This is a modern mine. It is clearly not clean or safe." The Canadian based Uranium Energy Corporation in Goliad has marketed uranium mining as safe and clean through TV commercials, articles, and talks. The research based organizations in Goliad continue to uncover information about unsafe practices.
What happened to people in New Mexico according to <em>The Washington Post</em> is cancer. Former uranium miner, Milton Head, 69, describes similar effects on people and livestock. "Stubby Simpson was a picture of health, didn't smoke or drink, then he got lung cancer and lasted six months. "Steers would turn yellow, their horns and hooves would slough off, like they were just drying up."
Promises have been made to Goliad, Kleberg County, New Mexico and Wyoming residents. Uranium mining companies have promised they are going to do a better job than those who mined in the past. As recently as last year the state of Wyoming continues to experience serious problems. UEC which is in Goliad plans to use a process called in situ recovery mining. Uranium ore in the ground is injected with oxygenated water. What happened to the aquifers in Wyoming may happen to Goliad.
As promised by UEC in Goliad, New Mexico jobs and revenue have been created. However, according to the Washington Post, the decades of uranium mining took a heavy toll: lung cancer, kidney disease, birth defects and other ailments at notably high levels among miners and families who lived in the areas mined. Compensation paid by New Mexico for health problems now exceed $160,000,000.
Saturday, April 26 at 9:00 a.m. in Goliad, Texans will be updated on what is happening in Goliad and Wyoming. Goliad and Wyoming are similar in how the uranium is to be mined; however, the similarities stop there. Goliad is densely populated. Many rely on clean water, soil and air for ranching, wildlife, and farming operations. Others have chosen Goliad as their place for retirement. Residents, landowners and people visiting or living adjacent to Goliad are invited to this educational event where the facts of uranium mining will be presented.