Navajo-owned company to fix road to access abandoned mines

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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

A small Navajo-owned company has been awarded a contract to upgrade a road needed to clean up abandoned uranium mine sites on the reservation.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced the nearly $920,000 contract this week to Clawson Excavating Inc. The company will improve a road in Cove that leads to 32 former mining sites.

[RELATED: US moves to end ban on new uranium mining near Grand Canyon]

[RELATED: California company to assess uranium contamination on Navajo Nation land]

The improvements include modifying the road slope, stabilizing the surface and controlling erosion. The work is expected to take 60 days.

The contract is funded through a roughly $1 billion settlement with the successor of a company that extensively mined the area. Mining companies extracted nearly 30 million tons of uranium on and around the reservation for Cold War weaponry.

[RELATED: EPA wraps up uranium mine cleanup on Navajo Nation]

Testing has revealed high concentrations of uranium in the soil and groundwater.

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