From The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel (Gary Harmon):
The U.S. Department of Energy cleanup that is hauling the pile north to Crescent Junction was helped significantly by stimulus money, Don Metzler, director of the project, said at the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce last month. Funding for the project “is not secure at all,” Metzler said. Budget forecasting suggests that 2012 will be a “tough time” for the Energy Department, Metzler said, but spending $90 million a year would make it possible to complete the cleanup by 2019, saving hundreds of millions in life-cycle costs of the $1 billion project. Two trains a day, five days a week, haul tailings from the pile along the Colorado River next to Arches National Park to the 500-acre disposal cell at Crescent Junction. By dint of several breaks, including stimulus funding, the project is operating with about $90 million a year now, but is to fall to the base amount of $30 million a year after 2011. That amount would allow for only one train a day bound for Crescent Junction, which would make the cleanup too slow, Metzler said.