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Navajo president meets with Congress to lobby for extension of Radiation Exposure Compensation Act

During the Cold War, Navajo country became an important source of uranium.

But the mines left a legacy that continues to this day.

There are more than 500 abandoned uranium mines on Navajo land, and a number of tribal members have suffered health impacts of radiation.

In 1990, the U.S. enacted the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act, which provides financial compensation to those who contracted cancer and other diseases from atomic testing and uranium mining.

Last week, Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez met with members of Congress in support of an extension to the Act, which is set to expire in just a few months.

The legislation would expand eligibility and extend the act until 2040.

Ron Dungan has lived in Arizona for more than 35 years. He has worked as a reporter, construction worker, copy editor, designer and freelance writer. He's a graduate of the University of Iowa, where he was a member of the undergraduate Writers’ Workshop, and has a master’s in history from Arizona State University.Dungan was an outdoors reporter and member of the storyteller team at the Arizona Republic, where he won several awards, and was a contributor on a border project that won the 2018 Pulitzer for explanatory reporting.When not working, Dungan enjoys books, gardening, hanging out with his German shorthaired pointer, backpacking and fly-fishing. He's a fan of the Arizona Cardinals and Iowa Hawkeyes.