McKinley County – Looking Within: A Health Impact Assessment on Uranium Mining
In July 1979 at the United Nuclear Corporations’ uranium processing mill in Northwest New Mexico, a dam broke releasing more than 1,100 tons of uranium mining wastes-tailings along with 100 million gallons of radioactive water into the Pipeline Arroyo and went downstream along the Rio Puerco. The “Church Rock Tailings Spill” is the second largest accident in the United States that released radioactive materials. We are conducting a Health Impact Assessment (HIA) to analyze how uranium mining in McKinley County affected the physical, emotional, economic and spiritual health of communities. Our HIA will look at the following health determinants: Environmental exposures/contamination; Displacement and relocation; Cultural relevance of the land to holistic health; and Community Efficacy.