Progress made toward cleaning up uranium mine

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SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) -- The Spokane Tribe of Indians has recently won big victories in its long fight against uranium contamination, including a deal reached this fall between the federal government and mining companies to clean up the long-closed Midnite Mine on the reservation.

In addition, tribal members in September became eligible to receive federal compensation if they became sick while working at the mine.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently announced a settlement with Newmont USA Limited and its subsidiary, Dawn Mining Co., to spend $193 million to clean up the 350-acre Superfund site where the uranium mine operated.

While Newmont will pay most of the costs, the U.S. Department of the Interior will contribute $42 million for failing to fulfill federal trust responsibilities to the Spokane Tribe through proper oversight.