Report: EPA permit would allow Powertech to contaminate aquifer with proposed uranium mine near Fort Collins

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency documents obtained by Environment Colorado reveal behind-closed-doors negotiations between the EPA and Powertech USA that would allow the company to contaminate part of the underground aquifer beneath its proposed Centennial uranium mine north of Fort Collins, according to the Fort Collins Coloradoan.

The paper reports the EPA and Powertech have been working on a permit for two years, and the company’s in situ mining process would contaminate part of the aquifer – something that’s allowable under certain types of EPA uranium mining permits. A number of local municipalities have officially voiced opposition to the proposed project.

In other uranium news , the Associated Press Friday was reporting a deal had been struck between the U.S. Department of Energy and the state of Utah that would forestall permanent storage of depleted uranium from weapons production in South Carolina until Utah officials can write new environmental rules addressing the impacts of such storage.

On Tuesday, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert wrote to Energy Secretary Steven Chu accusing the DOE of playing politics because of stimulus-funded jobs creation associated with the South Carolina cleanup.

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About the Author

David O. Williams

is an award-winning reporter who has covered energy, environmental and political issues for years. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune and Denver Post. He's founder of Real Vail
and Real Aspen.

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