Have any of you heard of a federal entity called “The Office of Legacy Management”? Unless you’ve traveled through the American Southwest, you probably haven’t. This is a federal agency that is ensconced in the Department of Energy and is in charge of remediating the old uranium mines and mills that the federal government left behind as a “legacy” of the Cold War and the Manhattan Project that preceded it. The Department of Energy is where the feds stashed the old and infamous Atomic Energy Commission and renamed them because the brand-name was so deeply associated with atmospheric nuclear testing.
I first became curious about this “Office of Legacy Management” over a year ago on routine runs into Flagstaff, Arizona, along Highway 160. Outside of Tuba City, I saw this gargantuan pad of crushed riprap gravel, fenced off with chain link fencing, and with signs on the fence declaring this site was part of the “Department of Energy—Office of Legacy Management”. I told my wife, this must be something the government is trying to hide because the name alone sounds like the way they hide the true nature of things with fancy semantics. I looked into it and discovered this to be the site of the old Rare Metals uranium processing mill. Evidently, this site alone was so heavily radioactive, the government came in to bury their handiwork—and hide the evidence of the smoking gun in the process.
I did a little more research and, in the meantime, the wife and I passed through Moab, Utah, on our way to Glenwood Springs, Colorado. There, squatting along the Colorado River was the site and colossal tailings pile of the old Atlas uranium mill and the feds have put a lot of money towards cleaning up this site. And, of course, hiding the evidence. I got to wondering how many people have passed by these sites and never known exactly what they’re looking at? Also, I discovered another federally-funded unmarked grave of another uranium mill and tailings pile in Mexican Hat, Utah, which sat close to the San Juan River.
Now, I looked deeper and discovered that uranium mining went on all over the Navajo Reservation in places such as Monument Valley (didn’t know that, did you?) and Cameron. Countless tourists from all over the world pass through these areas, wholly unaware that they’re passing through areas that killed scores of Navajo uranium miners. But the thing that I noticed with the Cameron mines, was these were open pit operations that filled with water. That the water was radioactive became obvious when livestock that drank from these “lakes” delivered offspring with horrifying birth defects, not to mention stillbirths.
Read the Remainder at Lew Rockwell