The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment late last week deemed complete a uranium mill application by Ontario-based Energy Fuels, starting what will be up to a year-long review. An environmental group suing to stop the Montrose County proposal said it objected to the application and never heard back from the state.
According to the Telluride Daily Planet, documents challenging the completeness of the Energy Fuels’ application were sent by the Sheep Mountain Alliance in time for state consideration but, according to state officials, they were never received.
The Piñon Ridge mill proposed for the Paradox Valley sparked a massive debate before the Montrose County commissioners this past fall, deeply dividing economically strapped locals and residents of nearby San Miguel County.
The area produced some of the first yellowcake enriched for nuclear weapons during World War II and the Cold War and is now being eyed to supply a potential nuclear-energy resurgence supported by Colorado Sen. Mark Udall. But uranium mining in Colorado also has a checkered environmental past.