Energy policy — nuclear: HB 10-1348 (Increase Oversight Radioactive Materials) passes out of the state senate

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From The Cañon City Daily Record (Rachel Alexander):

Colorado lawmakers passed the Uranium Processing Accountability Act, House Bill 1348, on a vote of 24 to nine Wednesday…

Cotter Corp. mill officials have said the bill will make it impossible for them to begin processing ore again in the future. In 2009, the company announced a plan to reopen as a heap leach facility in 2014, processing ore from the Mount Taylor mine in New Mexico. “This is not unexpected,” said John Hamrick, vice president of milling at Cotter. “This bill will prevent us from processing the Mount Taylor ore.”

Colorado Citizens Against ToxicWaste, a local group that has opposed Cotter restarting operations, was partnered with Environment Colorado in developing the bill. “We are thrilled the Senate sided with the people of Cañon City,” said Sharyn Cunningham of CCAT, through the same release. “It’s about time uranium companies are held responsible for cleaning up their toxic mess.”

More coverage from The Pueblo Chieftain (Patrick Malone). From the article:

The Senate on Wednesday passed HB1348 by a 22-11 margin. It now awaits the governor’s signature to become law…

Two groundwater plumes — in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Canon City and around the city’s golf course — have been identified as groundwater contamination sites. The most recent was found in 1992, and Cotter has largely addressed the problem through “natural remediation,” or simply letting it dissipate on its own. “I just know that the water where I live has been contaminated since the 1960s, and Cotter had no plans to clean it,” said Sharyn Cunningham, co-chair of Colorado Citizens Against Toxic Waste. “They just planned to watch it, monitor it and let nature clean it.”

From the Colorado Independent (David O. Williams):

The bill, which also requires companies to notify homeowners with drinking wells near contaminated groundwater and provides for more public input in the state regulatory process, now heads back to the House to work out amendments adopted in Senate. A concurrence vote could happen later this week.

More HB 10-1348 coverage here.

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