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Project on Government Oversight




Bill Hedden to Receive POGO's 1999 "Beyond the Headlines Award"

January 12, 2000 


Bill Hedden, the Utah Conservation Director of the Grand Canyon Trust, will receive the Project On Government Oversight's (POGO) "Beyond the Headlines Award." The award will be presented on Tuesday, February 1st at 5:30 at the Mansion on O Street, 2020 O Street, NW, Washington, DC.

POGO proudly honors Mr. Hedden for his tireless work to force the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to cleanup the Colorado River from the devastating effects of the Atlas Corporation uranium mill waste. Mr. Hedden's exceptional leadership has sought to hold the government responsible for protecting the environment and citizens from the harmful effects of the site.

The Moab "tailings pile" contaminates the source of drinking water for 20 million people and jeopardizes the habitat of four endangered species of fish. The Moab pile is the largest near a river - as big as 118 football fields - and lies within the flood plain of the Colorado River.

The federal government's current plan would allow the continued contamination of the eco-system in and around the now defunct mill. Without Mr. Hedden's determination, the government's shortsighted plan would already have been implemented.

Danielle Brian, POGO's Executive Director, commended Mr. Hedden for his efforts: "We are proud to recognize Bill for his steadfast determination in pursuing the cleaning up of the tailings pile. Mr. Hedden's unheralded quest and interest in pursuing environmental justice makes him a national treasure."

Mr. Hedden, a resident of Moab, Utah has been working on the project for six years and is a former Grand County Commissioner.

Hosting the award presentation reception are Representative George Miller, Representative Chris Cannon, Representative Grace Napolitano, Representative Bob Filner and Representative Shelley Berkley. The event is co-sponsored by Critical Mass Energy Project-Public Citizen, Fund For Constitutional Government, Government Accountability Project, Grand Canyon Trust, Mineral Policy Center, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance and U.S. PIRG.

POGO's "Beyond the Headlines Award" recognizes a federal employee, whistleblower, journalist, politician or activist who has tenaciously pursued efforts to create a more accountable and responsive federal government. EPA Ombudsman Robert Martin and Senator Charles Grassley are previous recipients of the award.

Click here for a fact sheet on the Uranium Tailings Pile in Moab, Utah.

Click here for POGO's Report, NRC Sells Environment Down the River: Radiation Flows Unchecked into the Colorado River, March 23, 1999.

Founded in 1981, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) is a nonpartisan independent watchdog that champions good government reforms. POGO's investigations into corruption, misconduct, and conflicts of interest achieve a more effective, accountable, open, and ethical federal government.

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