Tribes and Dept. of Energy sign cooperative agreement

Jun 11, 2013

Credit US Department of Energy

The Department of Energy and the Tribal Joint Business Council have signed a cooperative agreement for one year to address the work being done on the contaminated uranium mill tailings site on the Wind River Indian Reservation.

The Riverton Site is where a uranium and vanadium ore processing facility operated until the 1960s. The DOE is responsible for long-term management of the site, but the Tribes have pushed for more involvement in the process.

This Cooperative agreement provides the Council with $136,000 to oversee DOE’s monitoring activities, start on a supplemental risk assessment study, and help with additional site characterization and modeling.

Ryan Ortiz directs the Wind River Environmental Quality Commission. He says, in addition to the technical work, another big focus will be communication with the community.  

“One of the major things that we’re working on is to develop a presence where it’s known out in the community, where people can come right in the direct vicinity to get information and educational materials,” says Ortiz.  

The DOE will meet with the Council Wednesday about the agreement but Ortiz says the Tribes are happy with the agreement and he does not anticipate changes going forward.