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Wed March 14, 2012
Former New Mexico Uranium Mine Proposed As Superfund Site
LAGUNA PUEBLO, N.M. (AP) — Federal environmental regulators are proposing that a former uranium mine in western New Mexico be added to the national list of Superfund sites.
The Jackpile-Paguate mine near Laguna Pueblo is in an area of canyons and arroyos. More than 2,600 acres of mine property were disturbed and contain three open pits, 32 waste dumps and 33 ore stockpiles.
The mine is one of 10 sites around the country being proposed as Superfund sites by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The pueblo initially requested that the site be added.
The EPA says contamination at the former mine includes uranium, arsenic and other metals. High concentrations of uranium-238 have also been found in surface water immediately downstream of the mine.
The agency says releases from the mine are still occurring despite earlier surface reclamation efforts.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.