Monthly Archives: September 2011

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9/16/2011 Gallup Independent: BLACK MOLD – Window Rock Administration Building 1 cleanup projected at $1 million

9/16/2011 Gallup Independent: BLACK MOLD – Window Rock Administration Building 1 cleanup projected at $1 million By Arlyssa Becenti and Kathy Helms, Dine Bureau: WINDOW ROCK – A meeting of division directors took place Thursday afternoon to discuss the extended closing of Navajo Tribal Administration Building 1 and the planning of how the divisions’ operation during this closure will be handled. Nearly two weeks after a memo was sent out to inform employees and the general public that Administration Building 1 would be closed from Sept. 1-6 because of health risks which were the result of black mold found in the heating ventilation and air conditioning system, another notification was displayed to notify that as of Sept. 9 the closing of the building was until further notice.

“This meeting is to update division directors what is going on with the remediation process,” Communication Director Laphillda Tso said. “We don’t know the real cause. Until we pinpoint every problem we will (not) have an estimation of how long the building will be closed.”

Administration Building 1, which holds many divisions, is the financial housing of the Navajo Nation and the closing has greatly impacted business flow for the tribe.

“The divisions have all been relocated,” Tso said. “Business has been slower but they are getting done. We are definitely keeping the public up to date.”

If Special Prosecutor Alan Balaran didn’t seize all the documents he needed for his probe of possible misuse of Navajo Nation funds during spring raids on the Office of the Controller and Contracts and Grants, it’s unlikely he or any future special prosecutor will get new information anytime soon.

Critical financial documents within the Office of the Controller, the Office of Management and Budget, and the Office of the Auditor General all are housed in Administration Building 1, “the heartbeat of the Navajo Nation,” as Herman Shorty, director of the Office of Environmental Health, called it Thursday. But those documents are off limits after discovery of black mold led to closure of the building Sept. 9.

Friday morning, immediate essential documents needed for the closeout of Fiscal Year 2011, which ends Sept. 30, and other documents necessary for the continuity of government services were to be retrieved, decontaminated, and distributed to the appropriate parties so government processes are not stalled.

“This is a crucial, bad time, but emergencies don’t know that,” Shorty said.

During a meeting Thursday with the Budget and Finance Committee, Controller Mark Grant said the remediation is expected to run about $1 million and continuity of services about $500,000. In the event a new building is required, the low-end estimate to “put up a shell” would be about $10 million.

“You have to think about what’s happening right now. We’re re-creating everything inside that building, outside the building,” he said. “We’re rebuilding offices, we’re buying computers, we’re rerunning telephone lines. … That’s not just for us. That’s for General Services, Insurance Services, Auditor General, Personnel – they’re all re-creating their offices on the outside, so that’s going to be expensive.”

Many offices, including the Controller’s, are now located in the Department of Dine Education. Building Maintenance is in the process of rewiring and routing the electricity, Grant said, “because we just keep blowing out the power in that building.” If that doesn’t work, they have contacted a service in Phoenix that will bring in a semi-truck with a generator and set it up overnight. “That’s going to run $5,000 a week if we do that,” he said.

Meanwhile, all Personnel Action Forms pertaining to the hiring and firing of employees, all contracts, state and federal grants, audits and investment information are housed within the contaminated building.

“They’re going to try to get some of the important documents out of there, but when they close the building, they said, that’s it. Nothing goes in, nothing goes out after that. All our little Teddy bears are in there, all our coffee cups are in there,” Grant said, adding that when the closure order was issued, employees “basically stood up, they grabbed what they could as they had to leave the building, and that’s all they brought out.”

His office had advance notice, so they tore down some of their equipment and brought out a lot of the computers, Grant said. “The problem they brought to our attention is we could have brought some of the mold out with it.”

As part of the emergency response action, “They’re talking about scanning all the documents in the building and then disposing of them afterward,” Grant said.

Ron Interpreter, emergency management specialist with the Inter Tribal Council of Arizona Inc., which is providing technical assistance, said the mold has a way of attaching itself to surfaces, so one of the solutions being explored is to scan all the documents and put them into an electronic format.

According to a news release, Operation Breathe Safe is an incident action plan of the steps that will take place starting Friday. The first step in Operation Breathe Safe will be to retrieve vital documents from Administration Building 1 and a team of 50 chosen individuals will take these documents, scan them for a period of three days and proceed to destroy them.

“When the documents are purged, there’s a certificate of destruction that is provided by the company so that will help meet some of the federal regulations – financial regulations – when it comes to auditing and so forth, to prove and show cause or reasons why those documents were destroyed,” Interpreter said. “Mr. Grant is aware of that process and he’s putting a purging policy in place.”

A lot of the information in the building is very critical to the Navajo Nation, Interpreter said. “The sensitivity of taking care of it, the sensitivity of making sure that all of the information is recovered appropriately is really, really important.”

All documents throughout the various departments in the Administration Building that are needed in hard copy format would have to be scanned and reprinted. “That will be expensive,” Grant said, and at the moment one item they don’t have is a copy machine. They are all inside the contaminated building.

“If you come over to the Education Building, you will see how we are set up in there. We just have big long tables set up across the room, just rows of tables and people. Some of our work is being processed at Properties in Fort Defiance,” he said.

Assessments to determine the cause of the mold were said to be due by 5 p.m. Thursday. The assessment would give information as to what biological sources, if any, were found, Tso said.

Policy director Michele Morris also said that after the contamination was identified, proper care would take place.

“After we ID the contaminant we will address the public what they need to know,” Morris said. “Our Navajo Nation designate doctor is on hand to review and correlate with employees who have been impacted.”

After the contamination assessment is delivered by Environmental Consultant Inc. on Friday, a contractor will be hired to work on any of the building’s structural problems, a news release stated.

Incident Management Team Commander Wilfred Keeto said they are looking at the structural integrity of the Administration Building due to issues of moisture penetration. While they are projecting 30 days for the cleanup, “this can also carry into six months; it can carry into a year. If we do fix the inside and forget the outside … we can be back in the same situation.”

Grant said it is being recommended they foam and seal the roof. “There’s water coming in on the north side of the building up by OMB. They found the most mold in that area – OMB and Accounts Payable,” he said. “When they looked up on top they found pools of water all over the building. They walked around, they looked at the tile. They said anywhere there is a stain on those tiles, on the other side is mold. They found that all over the building.”

Operations Chief Wilson Laughter said the cleanup will be treated similar to asbestos abatement and there are federal regulations that mandate how the removal process is conducted.

“Actual site removal activity is basically going to be like a bubble. Once they seal that, it’s designed to keep whatever the contaminant is inside. The workers will then go in and do what needs to be done. Whatever is contaminated will be removed, and they will triple bag it and seal it. That’s how it’s going to work,” Laughter said.

“I think it’s very critical what Wilfred said earlier, and Mr. Grant. We don’t want to have to do this drill again six months from now. Let’s get it right the first time.”

9/15/2011 Gallup Independent: Dine´divided on LCR settlement

9/15/2011 Gallup Independent: Dine´ divided on LCR settlement By Kathy Helms, Dine Bureau: WINDOW ROCK – Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly proclaimed support for a Little Colorado River water rights settlement and Navajo Generating Station lease renewal in a meeting Wednesday with U.S. Department of the Interior Deputy Assistant Secretary David Hayes. But in a separate meeting with Council delegates, Hayes heard a different story. “NGS was initially allowed to use what was considered water from the Navajo Nation free of cost and then renew that after 25 years,” Delegate Dwight Witherspoon told the Washington delegation. “Certainly we would like to say, ‘No fricking way’ to giving that 34,000 acre-feet of water for free to NGS.”

Water from the Upper Basin of the Colorado River is necessary for the continued operation of Navajo Generating Station, which provides power to move Colorado River water through the Central Arizona Project. The NGS lease expires in 2019 but includes the right to a 25-year lease extension and the use of 34,100 acre-feet per year of Upper Basin water.

Interior officials, including Hayes and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Del Laverdure, met with Shelly before discussing a proposed Little Colorado River settlement with the Navajo Nation Council’s Nabiki’yati’ Committee.

“The Navajo Nation needs the Department of the Interior’s support for the delivering of Central Arizona Project water to Window Rock,” Shelly said, adding that the Nation is “continuing its support of the Navajo Generating Station and is currently negotiating the terms of a lease renewal.”

Hayes told delegates that a nearly billion dollar settlement proposed in 2008 and approved last year by Council would have resolved both Little Colorado and Mainstem Colorado River issues. It included a $515 million Western Navajo Pipeline project. However, the price tag precluded it from becoming law. Since then, the Navajo Nation and the United States have regrouped and “there is the potential for a $400 million settlement,” he said.

If Navajo and Hopi can agree, Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., is interested in making it happen. They have the potential to get the settlement across the line, Hayes said, “but only if we can close on the final issues in the coming weeks. That’s how critical it is. If we miss this window, I don’t know when it would come again.”

Duane Tsinigine, who represents the western portion of Navajo Nation, said he would like to see everyone work together on a settlement and request funding for the Western Navajo Pipeline, which would bring water to residents of the former Bennett Freeze as well as to Hopi.

“My dad’s side of the family is Hopi and I do support water for the Hopis. We did work diligently with the Hopis on the Intergovernmental Compact to lift the Bennett Freeze. I think we can work with them with due diligence on getting that western pipeline, and your support in this effort will be deeply, greatly appreciated.”

Leonard Tsosie said he was involved in the water discussion in the beginning and noticed Kyl pulled out of discussing the main Colorado River issue. “He blamed the cost of it, but I know the money is a drop in the bucket when it comes to federal finances. I believe it is an excuse for him to raise the NGS issue. I think there are hidden agendas.”

He asked Hayes and Secretary Ken Salazar to examine the Interior’s role as trustee for the Navajo people. “We need settlement of this water. I am not familiar with any dire need for this Council to renew the NGS,” Tsosie said.

“Peabody and NGS were bad deals made by the federal government on behalf of the Navajo people. These bad deals are now hamstringing economic development and community development and are working against us in terms of jurisdiction and authority. We want federal participation to turn this around. We don’t want the federal government, our trustee, on the other side fighting us, and that’s what we have found.”

Witherspoon said another concern in the settlement language is a clause about a waiver of injury to water for past and future water settlements. “I’m not sure this is protecting anybody but a particular entity that’s already on the Nation that’s using water, and we’d like to request that this be addressed and maybe be removed.”

Katherine Benally, chair of the Resources and Development Committee, read off a list of items Navajo would like to see in relation to the settlement.

“We’ve had some discussions regarding whether we could continue to support Navajo Generating Station operations and agreement. We looked at our history with NGS … It does not look very favorable – certainly not favorable for the Navajo Nation. They took our water, they took our land and did not bother to come back and see if we were properly compensated, and you all know that we are not. This remains a concern to us.

“We feel once we sit at the table with them and their stance is that they will continue to take from us free, we will not tolerate that. We are not agreeable to that. So in your meetings with NGS, it might be appropriate to give them that heads up from the Navajo Nation,” she said.

Walter Phelps who represents communities along the Little Colorado River, stressed, “My people need water. Our waters are contaminated with uranium. We have serious issues related to drought.”

Just a few days ago, Phelps attended a meeting in Cameron where his constituents asked his help in getting wells repaired and bringing water to isolated areas. “I was talking to a grandma who was just pleading with me. She says, ‘We have no water and I wish there was some way we could make use of that pipeline that Black Mesa was using for the slurry.’

“I know that’s not being considered, but the point is, the need is there, and it’s great. To me, $400 million – I’m embarrassed to go back and share that with my people,” he said.

Delegate Nelson Begaye told the committee he was aware that Hayes already had met with the president. “I don’t know what’s been said there, what kinds of commitments and questions and answers … I believe we should have gotten together here as a three-branch government and have one voice.

“There are a lot of issues,” he said. “Some of the things I personally don’t like is the conditions – if you don’t do NGS, for example, no water to Window Rock. I have problems with that.”

Hayes said that in Interior’s view, the water rights issue should be resolved on its own merits, and that while NGS issues are “hugely important,” they should be separate deals.

“Other folks are putting these things together and I share the concern. … We’re not excited about the connection that some others are bringing to this thing, but we’re going to live with the reality we’re in, and we need to work together on both issues and see where it leads.”

9/15/2011 Navajo Times: Forgotten People seeking DOJ report

9/15/2011 Navajo Times: Forgotten People seeking DOJ report By Noel Lyn Smith: A court hearing has been set for the lawsuit filed by the Forgotten People and 12 other individuals seeking an accounting of the Navajo Rehabilitation Trust Fund. A pretrial conference is scheduled Wednesday, Sept. 21, at 1:30 p.m. before Judge T.J. Holgate in Window Rock District Court. The focus will be on a report the Navajo Nation Department of Justice was supposed to produce on the fund accounting, but has not yet, said a lawyer for the plaintiffs. The trust fund was established by Congress to benefit residents of the former Bennett Freeze and Hopi Partitioned Land. These funds, including accrued interest or investment income, are made available to the tribe “solely for purposes which will contribute to the continuing rehabilitation and improvement of the economic, educational and social condition of families and Navajo communities” affected by various events of the Navajo-Hopi Land Dispute.

Money for the trust fund comes from federal appropriations and from money generated by surface and mineral interests in Paragon Ranch, located in northwest New Mexico.

James Zion, attorney for the Forgotten People, said his clients want to know the trust fund’s balance, how much has been spent, and what projects any money was allocated to.

The Forgotten People are residents of the former Bennett Freeze Area and is an association of survivors of the Navajo-Hopi Land Dispute.

Both the account balance and expenditures have never been fully disclosed, Zion said.

The group continues to question the use of $7.4 million from the trust fund to purchase a 405-acre tract of land east of Flagstaff for the Twin Arrows Navajo Resort Casino.

In their civil complaint filed in 2010, plaintiffs asked for an accounting of all income, expenses, profits, losses, assets and other financial matters for which the tribe, the Navajo-Hopi Land Commission and the Navajo-Hopi Land Commission Office have responsibility.

This is the second time a pretrial hearing has been scheduled.

The first pretrial conference was in January, where it was decided that the Navajo Nation’s Department of Justice would produce a report on the accounting actions of the trust fund, but that report was not made, Zion said.

“We’re hoping to move things forward on Wednesday,” he added.

The Forgotten People is inviting all interested parties to attend the conference.

9/16/2011 Albuquerque Journal Online AP: PNM Files Appeal Over Power Plant Proposal

9/16/2011 Albuquerque Journal Online: PNM Files Appeal Over Power Plant Proposal By Susan Montoya Bryan / The Associated Press: New Mexico’s largest electric utility is going to court in hopes of putting the brakes on a plan by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to trim emissions from a coal-fired power plant that serves more than 2 million customers throughout the Southwest. Public Service Company of New Mexico filed an appeal Friday in federal court. The company is seeking to stay a decision made in August in which the EPA rejected an attempt by the state and PNM to scale back an order for installing what they consider top-of-the-line emission-cutting technology at the San Juan Generating Station near Farmington.

The EPA gave PNM five years to install selective catalytic reduction technology to reduce haze-causing emissions.

PNM contends the technology is unnecessary, expensive and would result in a financial burden for customers.

Read more: ABQJournal Online » PNM Files Appeal Over Power Plant Proposal http://www.abqjournal.com/main/2011/09/16/abqnewsseeker/pnm-files-appeal-over-power-plant-proposal.html#ixzz1YAdWgMfB
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Read more: ABQJournal Online » PNM Files Appeal Over Power Plant Proposal

Mayor Bloomberg gives $50 million to fight coal-fired power plants

Mayor Bloomberg gives $50 million to fight coal-fired power plants By Christian Torres and and Juliet Eilperin, Published: July 21: New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced Thursday that he will donate $50 million to the Sierra Club to support its nationwide campaign to eliminate coal-fired power plants. Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune described the gift from Bloomberg Philanthropies, to be spread over four years, as “a game-changer, from our perspective.” The group will devote the money to its Beyond Coal campaign, which has helped block the construction of 153 new coal-fired power plants across the country since 2002. The campaign will expand from 15 to 45 states, plus the District of Columbia.

Among current targets is the Potomac River Generating Station in Alexandria, which was the backdrop for Thursday’s announcement. Bloomberg, Brune and Rep. James P. Moran (D-Va.) spoke on the deck of the restaurant cruise ship Nina’s Dandy, which floated several hundred yards away on the Potomac River. Moran said the plant “should have been shut down decades ago.”

Bloomberg’s announcement “has no effect on GenOn business,” said Misty Allen, director of external affairs for GenOn Energy, which owns the plant. “We’d like to remind everyone that on this, the hottest day of the year, with cities across the country setting up cooling spots that need power, it’s the Sierra Club’s goal to shut down all coal-fired plants,” Allen said, noting that coal-fired plants contribute to more than 40 percent of U.S. energy production.

Brune said in a phone interview that the group will use the money “to identify the oldest, dirtiest coal-fired power plants, retire them and replace them with clean energy.” The 62-year-old Potomac plant is among the oldest of the country’s roughly 400 coal-fired power plants. The Sierra Club said its goal is to retire about one-third of them by 2020.

As mayor of New York, Bloomberg (I) has pushed for environmentally friendly policies such as investing in renewable energy and making the city’s taxi fleet more efficient. But this is his largest financial contribution to an environmental effort, and the donation will swell the Sierra Club’s $80 million annual budget.

Bloomberg also tied the coal-burning issue to his work in public health, which includes bans on smoking in New York. He said he is now “joining another front for clean air” by contributing to the Sierra Club, and he plans to commit his time and energy to the campaign.

Scott Segal, a coal lobbyist, said in an e-mail that although it is up to the mayor’s foundation to determine which contributions make sense, “the mayor well knows that the key to New York’s success lies in access to affordable and reliable power.”

Asked about the city’s energy supply, Bloomberg was frank about the choices. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) and others have pressed to close the nearby Indian Point nuclear power plant, but the mayor said city residents get more than 8 percent of their electricity from the facility and lack a ready substitute. “It’s just not practical to close it down at the moment,” he said.

With Bloomberg’s donation, the Sierra Club plans to expand its Beyond Coal staff from about 100 people to nearly 200 full-time employees. Most of them will engage in grass-roots organizing, but some will work on lawsuits or social networking.

The announcement underscores the extent to which environmentalists are focused on efforts beyond the Beltway, given the opposition in Congress to nationwide limits on greenhouse gas emissions.

“We’re putting our faith in local communities to protect public health and promote clean energy,” Brune said. “Congress has failed to do the job on that. We’re confident local communities can do the job where Congress hasn’t.”

The group has just launched an extensive billboard advertising campaign in Washington’s Metro system, with pictures of young children who are described as “filters” for power plant pollution. Ads are running on a smaller scale in Chicago and New York and in some U.S. airports.

Reuters: More Americans believe world is warming

Reuters: More Americans believe world is warming: by Timothy Gardner: WASHINGTON (Reuters) – More Americans than last year believe the world is warming and the change is likely influenced by the Republican presidential debates, a Reuters/Ipsos poll said on Thursday. The percentage of Americans who believe the Earth has been warming rose to 83 percent from 75 percent last year in the poll conducted Sept 8-12. Republican presidential candidates, aside from Jon Huntsman, have mostly blasted the idea that emissions from burning fossil fuels and other human actions are warming the planet. The current front-runner, Texas Governor Rick Perry, has accused scientists of manipulating climate data while Michele Bachmann has said climate change is a hoax.

As Americans watch Republicans debate the issue, they are forced to mull over what they think about global warming, said Jon Krosnick, a political science professor at Stanford University.

And what they think is also influenced by reports this year that global temperatures in 2010 were tied with 2005 to be the warmest year since the 1880s.

“That is exactly the kind of situation that will provoke the public to think about the issue in a way that they haven’t before,” Krosnick said about news reports on the Republicans denying climate change science.

WEATHER DISASTERS

This year has been a record year for the kind of costly weather disasters — including Hurricane Irene, which raked the East Coast — that scientists have warned would be more frequent with climate change.

The United States suffered 10 natural disasters in 2011 with economic losses of $1 billion or more, according to the National Weather Service.

Unlike many other issues that divide Republicans and Democratic voters, such as healthcare or how to deal with the deficit and debt, a majority of Americans from both major parties agree on global warming, the poll found. Some 72 percent of Republicans believe global warming is happening and 92 percent of Democrats do, it found.

Global warming could be an important issue in next year’s election, because some 15 percent of voters see it as their primary concern, said Krosnick, who is also a university fellow at the Resources for the Future think tank.

If President Barack Obama, a Democrat, can define himself as the environmental candidate, he could have a large advantage over a Republican, Krosnick said. If however, a Republican softens his or her stance on climate and Obama, who has failed to pass a climate bill in his first term, moves more to the center, it may not be a factor in the election.

Some 71 percent of the Americans who believe warming is happening think that it is caused either partly or mostly by humans, while 27 percent believe its is the result of natural causes, the poll found.

While more Americans believe in global warming, the skeptics are becoming more entrenched in their belief that it is not happening. In 2010 the certainty of skeptics was 35 percent, while it was 53 percent in 2011. Again, the Republican climate skeptics are influencing that, Krosnick said.

The Reuters/Ipsos poll of 1,134 adults, including 932 registered voters, had a margin of error of 3 percentage points for all respondents and 3.1 points for registered voters.

(Reporting by Timothy Gardner, Editing by Sandra Maler)

9/16/2011 EPA Advancing Clean Up at 15 Hazardous Waste Sites, Proposing 11 Sites for Action

9/16/2011 Environmental Justice Mailing List: EPA Advancing Clean Up at 15 Hazardous Waste Sites, Proposing 11 Sites for Action: WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is adding 15 hazardous waste sites that pose risks to people’s health and the environment to the National Priorities List (NPL) of Superfund sites. EPA is also proposing 11 sites to be added to the list. Superfund is the federal program that investigates and cleans up the most complex, uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites in the country with the goal of protecting people’s health and the environment through long-term and short-term cleanup activities.

To date, 1,652 sites have been listed on the NPL. Of these sites, 350 sites have been cleaned up, resulting in 1,302 sites currently on the NPL (including the 15 sites added today). There are 62 proposed sites (including the 11 announced today) awaiting final agency action.

With all NPL sites, EPA works to identify companies or people responsible for the contamination at a site, and require them to conduct or pay for the cleanup. For the newly listed sites without viable potentially responsible parties, EPA will investigate the full extent of the contamination before starting significant cleanup at the site. Therefore, it may be several years before significant EPA clean up funding is required for these sites.

The following 15 sites have been added to the National Priorities List:

* Blue Ledge Mine (abandoned mine) in Rogue River – Siskiyou National Forest, Calif.;
* New Idria Mercury Mine (abandoned mercury mine) in Idria, Calif.;
* Armstrong World Industries (ceiling tile manufacturer) in Macon, Ga.;
* Sandoval Zinc Company (former zinc smelter) in Sandoval, Ill.;
* Gary Development Landfill (former landfill) in Gary, Ind.;
* Kerr-McGee Chemical Corp – Columbus (former pressure –treated railroad products manufacturer) in Columbus, Miss.;
* Red Panther Chemical Company (former pesticides formulation plant) in Clarksdale, Miss.;
* Horton Iron and Metal (former fertilizer manufacturer and metal salvage) in Wilmington, N.C.;
* Garfield Ground Water Contamination (contaminated ground water plume) in Garfield, N.J.;
* Chevron Questa Mine (molybdenum mine) in Questa, N.M.;
* New Cassel/Hicksville Ground Water Contamination (contaminated ground water plume) in Hicksville, Hempstead, and
North Hempstead, N.Y.;
* North Ridge Estates (former WWII medical facility) in Klamath Falls, Ore.;
* US Finishing/Cone Mills (former textile operation) in Greenville, S.C.;
* Alamo Contaminated Ground Water (contaminated ground water plume) in Alamo, Tenn.; and
* Falcon Refinery (inactive refinery) in Ingleside, Texas.

The following 11 sites have been proposed to the National Priorities List:

* Jervis B. Webb Co. (former manufacturer) in South Gate, Calif.;
* Seam Master Industries (adhesive manufacturer) in South Gate, Calif.;
* Continental Cleaners (former dry cleaners) in Miami, Fla.;
* Leeds Metal (former scrap metal facility) in Leeds, Maine;
* Compass Plaza Well TCE (contaminated ground water plume) in Rogersville, Mo.;
* Eighteenmile Creek (contaminated creek) in Niagra County, N.Y.;
* Southeastern Wood Preserving (former wood treating operation) in Canton, Miss.;
* Metro Container Corporation (former drum recycler) in Trainer, Pa.;
* Corozal Well (contaminated ground water plume) in Corozal, Puerto Rico;
* US Oil Recovery (used oil recovery facility) in Pasadena, Texas; and
* Bremerton Gasworks (former gasworks facility) in Bremerton, Wash.

Federal Register notices and supporting documents for the final and proposed sites: http://www.epa.gov/superfund/sites/npl/current.htm

Information about how a site is listed on the NPL: http://www.epa.gov/superfund/sites/npl/npl_hrs.htm

Superfund sites in local communities: http://www.epa.gov/superfund/sites/index.htm

If you are not already a member, the Office of Environmental Justice would like to invite you to join the EJ ListServ. The purpose of this information tool is to notify individuals about activities at EPA in the field of environmental justice. By subscribing to this list you will receive information on EPA’s activities, programs, projects grants and about environmental justice activities at other agencies. Noteworthy news items, National meeting announcements, meeting summaries of NEJAC meetings, and new publication notices will also be distributed. Postings can only be made by the Office of Environmental Justice. To request an item to be posted, send your information to environmental-justice@epa.gov and indicate in the subject “Post to EPA-EJ ListServ”

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Join US EPA EJ Listserve: EPA Releases Strategy to Protect People's Health & the Environment in Communities Overburdened by Pollution

9/14/2011 Environmental Justice Mailing List – EPA Releases Strategy to Protect People’s Health and the Environment in Communities Overburdened by Pollution: WASHINGTON – Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the release of Plan EJ 2014, a three-year, comprehensive plan to advance environmental justice efforts in nine areas, including rulemaking, permitting, enforcement, and science. Plan EJ 2014 aims to protect people’s health in communities overburdened by pollution, to empower communities to take action to improve their health and environment, and to establish partnerships with local, state, tribal and federal governments and organizations to promote sustainable communities where a clean environment and healthy economy can thrive.

“Far too often, and for far too long, low-income, minority and tribal communities have lived in the shadows of some of the worst pollution, holding back progress in the places where they raise their families and grow their businesses,” said Lisa F. Garcia, senior advisor to the EPA Administrator for Environmental Justice. “Today’s release of Plan EJ 2014 underscores Administrator Jackson’s ongoing commitment to ensuring that all communities have access to clean air, water and land, and that all Americans have a voice in this environmental conversation.”

Plan EJ 2014 is EPA’s strategy to meet the mandate of Executive Order 12898, “Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations,” which states that each federal agency, with the law as its guide, should make environmental justice part of its mission.

EPA released the draft plan for public comment in fall 2010 and spring 2011 and held forums and listening sessions in communities across the country.

EPA, along with its federal partners, will continue to conduct outreach, education, stakeholder forums and listening sessions as it moves forward to implement EO 12898 and Plan EJ 2014. EPA will issue annual reports documenting the progress toward meeting the commitments outlined in Plan EJ 2014. The annual reports will be made available to the public through EPA’s website.

Plan EJ 2014: http://www.epa.gov/environmentaljustice/plan-ej/index.html

More information on environmental justice: http://epa.gov/environmentaljustice/

If you are not already a member, the Office of Environmental Justice would like to invite you to join the EJ ListServ. The purpose of this information tool is to notify individuals about activities at EPA in the field of environmental justice. By subscribing to this list you will receive information on EPA’s activities, programs, projects grants and about environmental justice activities at other agencies. Noteworthy news items, National meeting announcements, meeting summaries of NEJAC meetings, and new publication notices will also be distributed. Postings can only be made by the Office of Environmental Justice. To request an item to be posted, send your information to environmental-justice@epa.gov and indicate in the subject “Post to EPA-EJ ListServ”

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NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 2011 at 5:00 PM at City Hall in Flagstaff, Ariz.

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING ON FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 2011 at 5:00 PM at City Hall in Flagstaff, Ariz. On the Use and Preservation of Dook’o’osliid: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: ST. MICHAELS, Ariz.—The Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission will hold a public hearing to give Navajo citizens an opportunity to give oral testimony, written information, or send written testimony to NNHRC about Dook’o’osliid as they relate to use, need for preservation, protection and other issues on Friday, September 23, 2011 at 5 p.m. at City Hall in Flagstaff, Ariz.

NNHRC is established under the legislative oversight of the Naabik’iyati’ Committee of the 22nd Navajo Nation Council. NNHRC advocates for recognition of Navajo human rights and directly networks at the local, state, national and international level to assess the state-of-affairs between Navajos and non-Navajos by conducting public hearings. NNHRC also investigates written complaints involving discrimination of Navajo citizens and addresses the public about human rights and the Navajo Nation’s intolerance of human rights violations.

The mission of the NNHRC is “[t]o protect and promote the human rights of Navajo Nation citizens by advocating human equality at the local, state, national and international levels based on the Diné principles of Si’a Naaghai Bik’eh Hózhóó, Hashkéejí, Hózhóójí and K’é.” The Diné principles translate to being resilient, content, disciplined and maintaining peaceful relationships with all creation.

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If a willing participant cannot make the hearing, NNHRC will accept a written testimony by mail. Be sure to include your full name, date, and chronological history of events pertaining to your concern about sacred sites, also, state the problem, and state the solution you want if you have one to recommend. Send your testimony to: Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission, P.O. Box 1689, Window Rock, AZ 86515.

For more information, call the NNHRC at (928) 871-7436 or visit the NNHRC website at www.nnhrc.navajo-nsn.gov.

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9/13/2011 Board recommends removal of Black Mesa coal slurry pipeline

9/13/2011 Board recommends removal of Black Mesa coal slurry pipeline By JIM SECKLER/The Daily News: KINGMAN — The county supervisors recommended Monday the removal of a coal slurry pipeline that stretches across the county. The supervisors recommended the removal of the coal slurry pipeline on public lands in the county at the expense of its owner, Black Mesa Pipeline Inc. The company had sought to relinquish its rights to the pipeline. The pipeline starts on the Navajo reservation and runs east to west across Mohave County crossing through northern Kingman and ending in Bullhead City.

Laughlin/Bullhead International Airport Director David Gaines asked the board to remove several hundred feet of the pipeline, some of it which goes under the airport’s runway and taxiway. He also recommended another section to be sealed in concrete and capped so a firehouse can be built.

One speaker spoke of keeping some of the easement for the pipeline to transport water and possibly fiber optics in the future. However, Mohave County Manager Ron Walker said most of the 40-year-old pipeline is in poor shape and could be a liability to the county.

The pipeline parallels Interstate 40 from Seligman westward then runs through northern Kingman running parallel to Highway 68 through Golden Valley before it crosses the Black Mountains and into Bullhead City to Laughlin.

The 273-mile coal slurry pipeline fed into the now defunct Mohave Generating Station in Laughlin that was shut down in December 2005. The 40-year-old power plant’s 500-foot smoke stack was demolished in March.

When MGS was in operation, the coal was mixed with water and pumped through the pipeline from the mines on the Navajo reservation to MGS. The water was extracted from the slurry and the coal was burned to fuel the plant’s turbines.