Wednesday News Roundup: Former NM Uranium Mine Listed As Superfund Site

Dec 18, 2013

Former NM Uranium Mine Listed As Superfund Site - Associated Press

A former uranium mine near Laguna Pueblo has been added to the list of Superfund sites.

The Jackpile-Paguate Uranium Mine was one of nine hazardous waste sites that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency added to the national priorities list last week.

The mine is located in an area of canyons and arroyos. It included more than four square miles of disturbed soil with three open pits, 32 waste dumps and more than 30 stockpiles.

The area was mined from 1953 until 1982. During that time, about 400 million tons of rocks were moved within the mine area and about 25 million tons of uranium ore were transported from the mine to a mill about 40 miles away.

Laguna Pueblo has supported the EPA's effort to list the site.

NM Utility Unveils Newest Solar Energy Center - Associated Press

The state's largest electric utility has unveiled its newest solar power plant in southern New Mexico.

PNM says the Otero County Solar Energy Center in La Luz is capable of producing enough electricity to meet the needs of about 2,400 average residential customers.

The 7.5-megawatt plant marks a $17.5 million investment by the utility. The plant spans 70 acres and includes more than 101,000 solar panels for converting the sun's energy into electricity.

In all, PNM says it has made a $180 million commitment to solar energy. That includes eight solar plants that are now online and three new centers that are proposed for next year.

PNM says more wind-generated power will be added in 2015, and customers will begin getting geothermal-generated power from a plant near Lordsburg next year.

States To Get Medicaid Cases From Federal Website - Associated Press

Federal officials are working to send states the applications of Medicaid-eligible people who sought health insurance through the troubled new federally run marketplace.

Until now, the applications had not been forwarded to the states as promised. The step is the latest in the effort to smooth the rollout of the marketplace.

The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services says it's started transferring account information to 10 states. They are: Alabama, Delaware, Idaho, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Montana, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and West Virginia.

Ohio officials also say they are preparing to receive thousands of Medicaid applications not sent as expected because of technical glitches.

More than 800,000 people have been determined through the state and federal marketplaces to be eligible for Medicaid, the safety-net program for the poor and disabled.

Fort Sill Apache Sue Governor For Recognition - Associated Press

The Fort Sill Apache Tribe is suing Gov. Susana Martinez to force her to recognize the tribe's status in New Mexico.

The Oklahoma-based tribe was granted federal reservation status for a small plot of its homelands in southwestern New Mexico two years ago, and it alleges Martinez is violating a state law and discriminating against the tribe by ignoring it.

Chairman Jeff Haozous says despite attempts to reach out to the administration, the tribe has been barred from the state's annual state-tribal summit, excluded from consultations with other tribes and prevented from accessing state capital programs and benefits.

The lawsuit asks the Supreme Court to require Martinez to recognize the tribe.

The tribe has been battling state officials over attempts to build a casino on its homelands in Akela Flats.