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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.
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.
Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet on Friday sent a letter to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 8 administrator Jim Martin reminding him that the “EPA needs to be especially mindful of the adverse health effects that past uranium booms have had on workers.”
Colorado conservation groups battling a proposed uranium mill in far western Colorado have asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to hold off on approving the project until the federal agency updates its antiquated air quality regulations for radon emissions.
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.
Activists and property owners in northern Colorado contend the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) failed to properly obtain and review the results of critical groundwater aquifer pump tests before granting to a permit last month to Powertech USA, a subsidiary of a Canadian company proposing an in-situ leach uranium mining project.
Conservation groups opposed to the planned Piñon Ridge Mill in far western Colorado expressed “extreme disappointment” with Wednesday’s state approval of a radioactive materials license for what would be the first new uranium processing facility in the United States in a quarter of a century. The Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment (CDPHE) issued the decision after 14 months of review and eight public meetings in Montrose and San Miguel counties. Piñon Ridge, which would process up to 500 tons of uranium and vanadium a day, is a project of Toronto-based Energy Fuels.