From the Fort Collins Coloradoan:
Local representatives of Clean Water Action are expected to be on hand today as the Colorado Division of Reclamation, Mining and Safety holds its first stakeholders meeting on new rules for uranium mining. The rule-making process is mandated by legislation passed by the Colorado General Assembly in 2008. Also passed that year was a bill requiring companies that use a mining method known as in-situ, through which uranium ore is dissolved underground using chemically treated water and extracted, to restore the quality of groundwater in mined areas to what it was before mining started. The legislation was aimed at an in-situ mining project proposed for an area between Wellington and Nunn by the uranium company Powertech. Company officials have said they intend to apply for mining permits from the state and Weld County this year. Clean Water Action plans to deliver more than 1,500 handwritten letters its staff members collected from Fort Collins residents to Gov. Bill Ritter’s office before the rule-making meeting. The letters call for the governor to make sure the interests of local residents are protected during the rule-making process.
More coverage from the Denver Post (Monte Whaley):
Stakeholders called together by the state Division of Reclamation, Mining and Safety will meet today to discuss the rulemaking process called for by the 2008 legislature. Lawmakers were responding to worries that uranium mining would lead to environmental problems, especially at the proposed Centennial “in-situ” leach uranium mine in Weld County…
The draft rules require more public disclosure of uranium prospecting. They also tighten controls on in-situ mining, requiring companies to do baseline water-quality studies and restoring the aquifer to that level or one set by the state Department of Public Health and Environment. “Hopefully, the rules will relieve some of the concerns people have had,” Powertech’s chief executive Richard Clement Jr. told The Denver Post in July. The Mined Land Reclamation Board will formalize the new rules over the next two months and then offer them up for public comment later this year.