Monday, May 06, 2013

Hale accepts appointment to NCSL’s Legislative Nuclear Workgroup

Hale accepts appointment to NCSL’s Legislative Nuclear Workgroup

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIXRep. Albert Hale, D-St. Michaels (District 7), recently accepted an appointment to serve on the National Conference of State Legislatures’ Nuclear Legislative Workgroup.

The NCSL’s Nuclear Legislative Workgroup provides legislative members the opportunity to learn how nuclear operations and energy issues affect the nation. Members of the workgroup help guide policies and advocate on behalf of individual states.

“Nuclear clean up and storage are critical issues in which I am extremely interested. Protecting our environment and its natural resources, while continuing to explore energy production, is essential to Arizona,” Hale said. “I am pleased to represent Arizona in this workgroup.”

In the late 1970s, Hale along with United States Senator Tom Udall, former Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall and former Ambassador William Mahoney, Sr. litigated against the United States on behalf of Navajo uranium miners. The litigation requested compensation for injuries resulting from exposure to uranium radiation while working in uranium mines in the Four Corners area. The litigation eventually resulted in the Uranium Miners Compensation Act enacted by the United States Congress to provide compensation to Navajo miners and others for radiation exposure injuries. From his work, Hale has extensive knowledge of the legacy of open uranium mines and tailings left in the Four Corners region of the Navajo Nation.

The workgroup will convene June 4-6 in Cincinnati, Ohio and will include an overview of federal nuclear regulatory programs. Members will tour the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant that enriched uranium for weapons during the Cold War and a facility with a new centrifuge plant.

“I take this appointment very seriously. I am committed to being a strong voice for our state and advocating for remediation of the legacy left by uranium mining companies,” Hale said. “I appreciate the opportunity to participate in this workgroup.”

Rep. Hale is an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation. He was born in Ganado and raised in Klagetoh, Arizona. He is Ashiihi (Salt), born for Todichiini (Bitter Water). His maternal grandparents are Hanaghani (Walk About clan). His paternal grandparents are Kiyanii (Tall House clan). He is a 1969 graduate of Fort Wingate High School, a Bureau of Indian Affairs boarding school located east of Gallup, New Mexico. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona (1973), and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of New Mexico School of Law, Albuquerque, New Mexico (1977), and an honorary Juris Doctor degree from Phoenix School of Law (2012).  He is the former President of the Navajo Nation.

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