Mixed Media Painting on Archival Gesso Board in a Black Metal Floater Frame.
This painting is part of my Ecological Landscape series.
During the Cold War, the U.S. Federal Government contracted with numerous companies to mine uranium on tribal lands in the Southwest of the United States.
After years of illness and death among the Navajo people due to radiation poisoning from the tailings of these mines, the government decided to begin a concerted effort to clean up these problem areas. Many of the mining companies have either closed or run out of money. The government knew about the dangers for decades.
Starting in 2008 the EPA began to attempt a comprehensive cleanup of Navajo tribal land. Critical to this effort was the establishment of a pilot waste uranium containment plant near Carlsbad in New Mexico. Things have not gone well. There have been recent serious accidents at the U.S. Governments Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), specifically an underground fire and a radiation leak.
The uranium problem on the Navajo Nation is part of a much bigger issue. Across the western United States there are more than 160,000 abandoned hard rock mines, many of which are polluting their local environments