Energy policy — nuclear: The Colorado Mined Land Reclamation Board sets hearing schedule for proposed uranium mining rules

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From The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel (Gary Harmon):

Most of the information uranium prospectors must provide in a notice of intent to conduct prospecting, or a modification to such a notice, would be a public record subject to the state’s Open Records Act. The regulations contain no requirement, however, that prospecting be subject to administrative review or public comment before permits are issued. Prospectors could maintain the confidentiality of information about the size, location and nature of a mineral deposit, as well as other information deemed proprietary that is deemed by the board to be a trade secret.

The board will take public comments from 1 to 9 p.m. May 13 at the Courtyard and Residence Inn by Marriott, 765 Horizon Drive. The hearing could end early if all testimony is complete.

Meanwhile the Piñon Ridge Mill is waiting on their permit from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment hoping to start operation in 2011, according to a report from Gary Harmon writing for The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. From the article:

The mill project is “pretty much on schedule,” Energy Fuels Inc. founder George Glasier said at the spring meeting of Club 20 at Two Rivers Convention Center. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is considering the company’s application for the mill. Energy Fuels invested $10 million in acquiring the mill site and preparing its application, Glasier said.

Energy Fuels has mines in Colorado, and “we expect those mines to start operations as soon as this mill permit is issued,” probably in early 2011, Glasier said. Right now, no mines are operating in Colorado, but two mines are operating in Utah, Glasier said.

More nuclear coverage here and here.

2010 Colorado elections: Rafting rift update

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From The Denver Post (Jessica Fender):

Gov. Bill Ritter thought the situation could be resolved in a better way when he directed Schumacher, a neighboring outfitter and a Jackson-Shaw representative to develop a use agreement that allowed the two rafting companies to continue their operations, said spokesman Evan Dreyer. “The two sides have a very specific conflict,” Dreyer said. “Seems like they should be able to find some common ground and reach a compromise that doesn’t require a new state law.”

Eric Anderson, a spokesman for a group of landowners fighting the bill and the initiative, said the Schumacher-Shaw matchup upset a balance between river rafters and private landowners that had been working for years.

More 2010 Colorado elections coverage here.

Denver Water Board of Commissioners names James Lochhead to replace Chips Barry

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Here’s the release from Denver Water (Stacy Chesney):

The Denver Board of Water Commissioners has selected Jim Lochhead to be the next CEO/Manager of Denver Water.

“Jim brings deep experience and expertise in Colorado water issues and the political process, as well as outstanding leadership, strategic visioning and management skills,” said Penfield Tate, president of the Board of Water Commissioners. “We believe he has the necessary ability to maintain and build relationships with the myriad external stakeholders that work with Denver Water, and also the ability to be a dynamic, visionary leader for our staff and internal operations.”

Jim LochheadLochhead currently is a lead shareholder at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP, where he has negotiated many complex transactions regarding water and other natural resources in the Rocky Mountain West. He has a bachelor’s degree in environmental biology and a law degree from the University of Colorado. Lochhead began his career practicing water law in Glenwood Springs in the early 1980s. He served as the executive director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources under Gov. Roy Romer from 1994 to 1998.

“I’m excited to lead the premier water utility in Colorado,” said Lochhead. “Denver Water is a solid, well-run utility. At the same time, we will face a number of challenges in the future, and I look forward to bringing my experience to bear and work with the employees to meet those challenges.”

“Jim is well-respected in the water industry,” said Tate. “We found him to be the most qualified candidate to lead our organization among the more than 100 people who were considered.”

For the past 20 years, Jim Lochhead has represented the state of Colorado and a coalition of major water utilities and districts — including Denver Water — with regard to interstate Colorado River operations and issues. He was Colorado’s commissioner for and vice-chairman of the Upper Colorado River Commission.

“We are confident Jim will continue Denver Water’s role in delivering outstanding service to our customers, continuing our message of conservation and helping secure water for our future,” said Tate. “Jim will help Denver Water define and champion the next generation of our goals, strategies and performance.”

Lochhead will begin his work with Denver Water in June. He and his wife, Abby — a fourth-generation Coloradan — will begin their transition to Denver from Glenwood Springs over the next few weeks. Lochhead was selected to replace Chips Barry, who announced his retirement plans in January. Barry will remain CEO/manager until June.

More coverage from The Denver Post (Bruce Finley):

He’ll take the helm of a 1,100-employee water agency — which supplies 1.3 million metro-area residents — as it wrestles with major projects to repair aging urban infrastructure and divert more water from mountain rivers west of the Continental Divide. The hard part lies beyond. At its current rate of growth, Denver is expected to face water-supply shortfalls starting in 2016, with a projected shortfall of 34,000 acre-feet of water by 2030. The Colorado River Basin, source of more than half Denver’s water, is about maxed out — and new studies anticipate climate change reducing total water available.

Lochhead said he expects Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Phoenix and Salt Lake City — and Mexico — increasingly will have to collaborate on managing water supply and demand. “The challenge will be to enhance the supply of the system in a way that preserves the environment for Colorado and preserves the economy of the state and enhances the reliability of the system,” Lochhead said. “The basin is about at full demand right now. If climate change means we have less water to work with, then we may be already in a deficit situation.”[…]

Environmental advocates welcomed the decision. Lochhead’s “wealth of experience working to diplomatically resolve contentious water disputes makes him uniquely qualified for his new post,” said Bart Miller, director of Western Resource Advocates’ water program. “He’ll bring a a steady hand and level head to this important position.”

More Denver Water coverage here.

Loveland: Annual water cleanup Saturday

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From the Loveland Reporter-Herald:

The cleanup is 9 a.m. to noon Saturday.

Check-in will be at the following locations:

• Civic Center, 500 E. Third St.

• World Beverage, 3655 Garfield Ave.

• Substation, half mile north of Taft Avenue and West 57th Street.

• Thompson School District headquarters, 800 S. Taft Ave, south gate.

• Walmart, U.S. 34 and Denver Avenue.

Residents are reminded to wear old clothing, work gloves and hats, and if they have them, bring waders. More information about the cleanup and other starting sites is available by calling 962-2627.