Energy policy — nuclear: The Environmental Protection Agency opens up an additional comment period for waste product storage at the proposed Piñon Ridge Mill

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From The Telluride Daily Planet (Matthew Beaudin):

The EPA is tasked with permitting the waste product storage at the would-be uranium mill near the Colorado-Utah border between Telluride and Bedrock, Colo. From now through April 8, the agency will conduct another comment session though it’s not a regulatory requirement. The comments, like the EPA’s involvement, must be narrow in scope and limited to “uranium by-product impoundments,” or waste storage, according to the agency. A passel of citizens and governments in the region have flooded regulators, such as the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the EPA, with letters asking for more review of the mill. “We got a lot of inquires from San Miguel County and others around the mill,” said Deborah Lebow Aal, the acting director of the EPA’s air program. “If there are some really relevant and good comments we will look at them.”

The mill still needs to collect water and air permits from the State of Colorado…

“I think it’s great that the EPA paid attention to the requests that were made. I think all of these processes should be a public process,” [Hilary White, the executive director of Sheep Mountain Alliance] said. “Ultimately, a victory would be for them to deny the permit. I think we understand that that’s a long shot. What we’re really going for is a strong independent analysis.” White said the EPA is reviewing radon emissions, specifically. Radon, a gas, is a uranium mining byproduct that is estimated to cause about 21,000 lung-cancer deaths a year, according to a 2003 EPA study…

Currently, Sheep Mountain Alliance is in a fight with both the state and Energy Fuels. It filed a suit that accused state regulators of violating federal and state laws in the run up to approving the mill and ignoring dangers to air and water quality. The CDPHE and Energy Fuels have both asked the court to throw the suit out. “The Department disputes the vast majority of SMA’s allegations, many of which are misstatement of fact and law, irrelevant, exaggerations and mischaracterizations,” reads the state’s suit, filed by Colorado Attorney General John Suthers.

More nuclear coverage here and here.

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