McKinley County, NM
Team LeadJordon Johnson
Team Problem Statement
In 1979 at the United Nuclear Corporations’ uranium processing mill in Northwest New Mexico, a dam broke releasing more than 1,100 tons of uranium miming 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.
There has been minimal attention to the health risks associated with mining and environmental contamination in the Northwest Region. There are proposed uranium mining sites in McKinley County and we want to ensure that people are aware of the health risks associated to either working in the mines or secondary exposure from family members bringing home contaminated clothes, air pollutants, etc. Also, there has been inadequate clean up of currently contaminated areas.
All people in McKinley County live in a safe, healthy, and prosperous environment that honors health-in-all policies and leaves a legacy of responsible leadership grounded in equity.
Using a health equity lens, the McKinley Community team seeks to change systems that perpetuate environmental health disparities related to the impacts of institutional racism and multi-generational trauma, by building the capacity and empowering participating communities within the region to impact equitable policy change.
Heal the individual and community health along with engaging community members in restoring the environment, social wellbeing, and economic security with Traditional and Western values and medicine.