Tue February 8, 2011

Group Sues Over Uranium Mill Permit

A Telluride-based environmental group wants a judge to revoke a state permit giving the initial go ahead for the construction of a uranium mill in remote southwestern Colorado.

State public health and environment regulators have defended their issuing of a radioactive materials license to the Canadian firm Energy Fuels Inc. which wants to build what would be the country’s first uranium mill in some 25 years.  They say the permit has a number of conditions attached to it aimed at protecting the environment.

But Linda Miller of the Sheep Mountain Alliance says the conditions don’t require the company to put up enough bond money for clean-up and decommissioning. Her group worries about possible pollution if the project moves ahead.

"And what happens in the event of leakage, because this is the water system that goes into the Colorado, and so many people are dependent on that," Miller said.

State officials are not commenting on the lawsuit that was filed last week in Denver District Court, saying they have not yet seen it and don't respond to pending litigation. Last week a judge tossed out a separate lawsuit filed by the same group against Montrose County.