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EPA reports on plan to clean up uranium on Navajo

A worker hoses down the worksite to keep down dust at the uranium transfer site cleanup in Cove, Ariz., this fall. (Photo courtesy U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)

A worker hoses down the worksite to keep down dust at the uranium transfer site cleanup in Cove, Ariz., this fall. (Photo courtesy U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says it has exceeded its goals in assessing structures on the Navajo Nation for uranium contamination.

The agency had planned to assess 500 homes, sheds and other structures over five years and replace those that were too badly contaminated. It ended up surveying nearly 880 structures.

The agency announced Thursday that it also had provided safe drinking water to 1,825 families and cleaned up contaminated soil from previous mining operations.

The EPA says more work needs to be done to reduce the hazards of uranium contamination on the vast reservation and to study the health impacts.

The agency says the challenges going forward will be to find suitable disposal sites and get those responsible for the mine waste to pay for cleanup.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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