Navajo Nation Council Resources and Development Committee holds uranium clean-up project work session

(Photo: Navajo Nation Council)

Work session also included creating and filling positions for uranium remediation projects by January 2020

News Release

The 24th Navajo Nation Council - Office of the Speaker

The Resources and Development Committee held a work session Monday, Aug. 5, 2019 to address facility, personnel and accounting requests with the Navajo Nation Environmental Protection Agency, Division of Community Development, Division of Human Resources and the Office of the Controller ahead of uranium remediation projects in 2020.

  The work session between delegates and program leadership focused on three items:

  1. Contracts to remediate and upgrade the Navajo Nation Environmental Protection Agency Superfund building. 
  2. Creating and filling positions for uranium remediation projects by January 2020. 
  3. Establishing Navajo Nation N-Accounts for outside uranium remediation funds.

Navajo Nation EPA Director Oliver B. Whaley reported that the contracts to begin work on the Superfund building are being prepared by the Division of Community Development (DCD) Capital Projects Management Department. The building was purchased in 2016 for Navajo Nation Environmental Protection Agency operations. Division of Community Development Executive Director Dr. Pearl Yellowman said that issues with a previous review of the contracts will be addressed so that work can start. 

Director Whaley also detailed issues with creating 35 positions for uranium clean-up projects. Dr. Phefelia Fowler, Executive Director of the Division of Human Resources, gave the committee an overview of the current Personnel Action Form and classification processes for new employees and positions. 11 positions require classification to establish job descriptions, titles, responsibilities, qualification requirements and pay rates. The directors agreed to coordinate with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to streamline budget modification and position code processing. 

General Accounting Manager Robert Willie of the Office of the Controller indicated that he will follow-up with Navajo Nation Environmental Protection Agency and Office of Management and Budget to set up accounts for uranium clean-up funds. 

  “Let’s work together so that the field work begins on time,” said Delegate Kee Allen Begay, Jr.

The Resources and Development Committee is a standing committee of the 24th Navajo Nation Council. The Chairperson is Honorable Rickie Nez, the Vice Chairperson is Honorable Thomas Walker, Jr., and Honorable Delegates Kee Allen Begay, Jr., Herman M. Daniels, Mark Freeland and Wilson Stewart, Jr. are members.

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