BREAKING: House Unanimously Passes O'Halleran Measure to Clean Up Abandoned Uranium Mines

June 8, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Last night, the House of Representatives voted unanimously to pass an amendment to the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act introduced by Congressman Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01). The amendment expedites the cleanup of abandoned uranium mines, which pose a serious health threat to countless tribal and rural communities across the Southwest.

In a speech on the floor on the House of Representatives, O’Halleran urged his colleagues to act swiftly on this issue saying, “Across northern Arizona, uranium mining has a toxic legacy, and many Arizonans continue to fight the cancers and disease caused by radiation exposure decades ago. Today, we understand these health risks. We know that unaddressed sites are a danger to public health, and they will continue to pose a risk until they are remediated or reclaimed.”

The amendment designates funds to expedite the cleanup of uranium mining sites through the Defense Related Uranium Mining Program.

“This amendment to the appropriations bill will ensure that we are doing our part to improve public health for communities who have long been forgotten in Arizona and throughout the region,” said O’Halleran in a statement following the vote. “I am humbled to have the support of the entire House of Representatives on this commonsense amendment. We have a responsibility to ensure our children have a safe place to call home, and this proposal will do just that.”

The Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act includes appropriations for Military Construction, Water and Energy programs, and the Legislative Branch. Congress will not receive a pay raise in this bill, a provision Congressman O’Halleran fought to ensure was included. Watch the full video of Congressman O'Halleran's floor speech here.