Welcome to the Website of the Bluewater Valley Downstream Alliance
The Bluewater Valley Downstream Alliance is a group of citizens from neighboring communities near
Grants and north of Milan, New Mexico, whose underground water resources have been contaminated
by uranium mining and milling activities that began in the 1950s. As a result, our rural way of life has
been decimated and we have organized to fight against Homestake/Barrick Gold and the other rich
and powerful mining companies that polluted our community and left with their profits, but without
provisions for cleaning up the massive underground water contamination that was the legacy of their
uranium mining activities, particularly in the Ambrosia Lake area, and also at the Anaconda/Atlantic
Richfield Company mill site only a few miles away.
For over 25 years, and in spite of designation as a Superfund site, our community has battled with
Homestake/Barrick Gold, the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED), the Nuclear Regulatory
Commission (NRC), and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to try to restore
our underground aquifers. Only lately has the NMED, under Governor Richardson’s leadership, begun
to take our concerns seriously. Senator Jeff Bingaman’s office has also come to our aid recently and
we look forward to more help from the Senator in the future.
Living next to Homestake/Barrick Gold’s uranium mill tailings Superfund site has taken a toll on our community. In years past, we watched windblown tailings scatter across our horizon. Today we watch as mist from the company’s evaporation ponds drifts out into the surrounding communities, and we often suffer from the stench of the evaporation ponds. We do not know how our physical health has been impacted, but the strain from lost water resources, lost property values, damaged homes, and the constant battle with corporate giants and regulators has taken a toll on our mental health.
In short, we are a small organization of working class citizens fighting for environmental justice against the Goliaths of the uranium industry and often against the very U.S. government regulators who should have protected our health and environment in the first place.