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Congressman Tom O´Halleran

Representing the 1st District of Arizona

O'Halleran Bill Creates Cancer Treatment Programs on Tribal Land

February 27, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC - Today, Reps. Tom O'Halleran (AZ-01) and Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM-01) introduced the Tribal Uranium Exposure Treatment Enhancement Act of 2018, which creates grants for cancer treatment programs for tribal communities impacted by uranium mining or milling.

"Throughout Indian Country, and especially in rural western communities, people are coping with the radiation from abandoned, carcinogenic uranium mines. There are no on-site cancer treatment facilities on tribal lands, so those cancer patients must drive hundreds of miles for every medical visit. This is both costly and highly prohibitive to many of these cancer patients living in distressed, rural areas," said Congressman O'Halleran. "This commonsense legislation provides a solution to this problem by providing the necessary resources for tribes and tribal health organizations to build treatment centers in communities directly impacted by these mines. This is a growing health crisis for these areas, and Congress must act before another life is lost."

“For years, tribal communities have been exposed to deadly radiation from uranium mining and milling which occurred on their lands,” Congresswoman Lujan Grisham said. “A University of New Mexico study found that 85 percent of Navajo homes had uranium contamination, and Navajos living near these mines have higher levels of uranium in their bones than 95 percent of the American population. It is long overdue that Congress provide these communities with the resources they need to deliver cancer treatments and help those suffering from radiation poisoning.”

The Tribal Uranium Exposure Treatment Enhancement Act creates a $10 million grant program for tribes to provide local cancer treatment.