Ritter to Feds: don’t dump your mercury mess on Grand Junction

Gov. Bill Ritter made his opposition to mercury storage near Grand Junction official Thursday, sending a letter to U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu opposing the plan for three key reasons:

First, he said the Grand Junction Disposal Site south of the city is too close to the Colorado River and contamination puts far too many water users both in state and downstream at risk.

Second, transporting mercury from its current storage facility in Tennessee presents far too many risks, crossing numerous waterways and the Continental Divide.

And finally, the feds promised the Grand Junction Disposal Site would only contain locally generated uranium mine tailings and not become a toxic dumping ground for the rest of the nation.

Ritter made his opposition to the plan known last week, but now he’s throwing his considerable weight with Chu and the Obama administration on energy issues into the fray.

His two Republican opponents for governor in 2010, state Sen. Josh Penry and former congressman Scott McInnis, both of Grand Junction, also made their opposition known last week.

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