The Colorado Independent,2020
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Colorado officials failed to allow the public to properly vet a proposed uranium mill they licensed last year, U.S. regulators declared last week in a letter to an environmental group suing the state.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Thursday issued the first federal approval for a controversial uranium mill in western Colorado that would be the first such processing facility in the United States in decades.
In the fall of 2009, a Cotter Corp. representative attended a Montrose County hearing on the proposed Piñon Ridge uranium mill in the Paradox Valley, asking officials to approve the facility so that mines his company still owns and operates in western Colorado will have a much closer processing facility.
Rather than seek an appropriate technological solution, managers of a decommissioned uranium processing mill near Cañon City want the state to let them stop testing a radioactive holding pond because wooden pallets used to cross the pond are sinking into the toxic mud.
A Canadian company hoping to revive the long-dormant uranium mining hotbed of southwestern Colorado is touting an economic report prepared for Montrose County showing world uranium demand is expected to double in coming year, according to the Telluride Daily Planet.
Environmental groups battling to get the Cotter Mill uranium processing facility near Cañon City properly cleaned up applauded a decision late last week by a district court judge in Denver that allows their lawsuit to go forward.
A Denver district judge this week rejected motions by the state of Colorado and a Canadian uranium mining company to throw out a lawsuit challenging the proposed Piñon Ridge Uranium Mill in Montrose County. Denver District Judge Brian Whitney sided with the Telluride-based Sheep Mountain Alliance, which contends the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) may have violated various state and federal laws in issuing a permit for the mill. The lawsuit can now move forward.
Until recently, most of the debate over nuclear power in Colorado had to do with whether to mine and mill more uranium to be shipped elsewhere for conversion into fuel rods to power nuclear plants in other states and other countries around the world. The magnitude-9 earthquake and tsunami that crippled the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan on March 11 changed both the nature and the tenor of the discussion in Colorado – a state that produced some of the uranium ore used in developing the nation’s first nuclear weapons.
Not surprising in the midst of an ongoing nuclear power plant disaster in Japan, much of the heated opposition to a proposed reactor in Pueblo the last two nights has reportedly focused on safety and fallout in the event of a meltdown. The Pueblo Chieftain reported more than 500 people, most of them opponents, came out to a Pueblo County commissioners meeting Wednesday night to express their fears about possibly being home to Colorado’s first active nuclear reactor since Fort St. Vrain in Platteville, east of Longmont, was shut down in 1992 and later converted to a natural gas plant.
A Telluride-based environmental group claims state regulators violated various state and federal laws last month when they issued a radioactive materials license to the proposed Piñon Ridge Uranium Mill on Colorado’s Western Slope. In a legal challenge filed in Denver District Court last week, the Sheep Mountain Alliance alleges the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) violated both the federal Atomic Energy Act and the Colorado Radiation Control Act when it issued a license for Toronto-based Energy Fuels to build the first new uranium processing mill in the United States in more than three decades.