Energy policy — nuclear: Schwartzwalder uranium tainted water cleanup to start in July

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From The Denver Post (Bruce Finley):

Operators of a defunct uranium mine accused by the state of contaminating groundwater and a nearby creek have agreed to begin a cleanup by the end of July. “We intend to comply to the best of our ability,” Cotter Corp. vice president John Hamrick said. Cotter will pump and treat tainted water from inside its Schwartzwalder mine in Jefferson County, then seek a state permit before releasing treated water back into Ralston Creek, Hamrick said…

Cotter was responding to a cease-and-desist order issued June 1 by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Fines as high as $10,000 per day could be imposed. Cotter officials and state regulators have been negotiating.

Colorado Department of Natural Resources mining regulators sent Cotter a separate notice saying they have reason to believe Cotter has failed to comply with permit requirements designed to protect the environment.

State regulators have pressed to get the company to pump and treat the toxic water in the mine. “We’re in the process of establishing that system,” Hamrick said. State officials “have given us until July 31. We expect to have it by that date or before,” he said…

Residents of Denver, Arvada and the North Table Mountain Water and Sanitation District depend on the reservoir for drinking water. Municipal-water providers say their filtration systems remove uranium but aren’t designed specifically for this. Denver Water and others have been urging a swift cleanup.

More Schwartzwalder mine coverage here.

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