New sampling could shed light on contamination at the site of a former uranium mill on the Wind River Reservation. The mill operated for less than a decade in the 1950s and 60s, but left behind huge piles of toxic tailings. The tailings were removed in the 1980s and the remaining contaminants were expected to slowly dissipate over the course of a century.
Flooding in 2010 caused an unexpected spike in contamination though, revealing inaccuracies in the existing models. Now, the Department of Energy and the Northern Arapaho tribe are working together to come up with new models for the site.
Ryan Ortiz is a contractor for the tribe on the project. He says the new work will shed light on what needs to be done.
“All the effort that’s been going on out there is to really understand how this site is going to clean up, and how long it’s going to take.”
The Department of Energy will present what is currently known about the contamination during an informational meeting about Wind River Reservation environmental issues Tuesday, August 25 at 6pm at the Wind River Casino.