2012 Colorado Legislation: SB12-017 (prevent the new CWQCC nutrient standards) gets the boot from the Senate Agriculture Committee

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From Colorado News Agency (Debi Brazzale) via the La Junta Tribune-Democrat:

Senate Bill 17, sponsored by Sen. Steve King, R-Grand Junction, would have prohibited the Colorado Water Quality Control Commission from establishing numeric standards for nitrogen and phosphorus levels that would then drive costly mitigation measures for wastewater treatment plants…

King told the panel that establishing numeric standards is paramount to “wasteful and arbitrary” regulation resulting from “speculative” decision making in anticipation of possible EPA mandates.
“The cost of implementation of such regulation on small and medium-sized communities will be staggering,” said King. “This is the ultimate in unfunded mandates.”

Sen. Gail Schwartz, D-Snowmass Village, said thwarting the state’s rule-making process on nutrient standards would stall efforts to address a growing concern. “This is such an important conversation—a timely conversation,” said Schwartz. “It would be a mistake if we didn’t move forward with a Colorado plan.”

More 2012 Colorado legislation coverage here.

Next Water Availability Task Force meeting February 16

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From email from the Colorado Water Conservation Board (Ben Wade):

The next Water Availability Task Force meeting is on Thursday, February 16 from 9:30a-11:00a at the Colorado Parks & Wildlife Headquarters, 6060 Broadway Denver, CO, in the Bighorn Room.

The agenda has been attached and will be posted at the CWCB website.

In the event you are unable to attend in person, but still wish to participate, please email Ben Wade to get call in and web conference information. This will allow you to hear as well as see the presentations live. An email will be sent 10-15 minutes prior to the meeting that will have the link to the online meeting and the number to call.

More CWCB coverage here.

Northern Water nixes use of Colorado-Big Thompson Project water for hydraulic fracturing outside of project boundaries

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From KUNC (Nathan Heffel):

Northern Water is cracking down on oil and gas companies using its water for hydraulic fracturing. The agency says its water cannot be used for fracking operations outside of the district boundaries. Brian Werner, with Northern Water says they have no knowledge of this happening but, “With all the trucks out there hauling water in Weld County and elsewhere that it is apt to.”

More oil and gas coverage here and here.

John Hamrick (Cotter Corp): ‘We see things are getting a lot better — The amount of uranium out there is a lot less’

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (Tracy Harmon):

“We are committed to cleaning up our mill,” mill manager John Hamrick said during a public meeting Thursday in Canon City. “We do take this obligation very seriously and we want to be able to demonstrate the remedial action is compliant with the health and safety standards,” Hamrick said.

About 50 people attended the latest in a series of public meetings planned to provide the public updates on the clean-up plan…

Some members of the public charged that contaminated water is leaking from the site to adjacent neighborhoods. State regulators rejected the charge. “A leak has not been demonstrated,” [Department of Public Health Hazardous Materials Division Chief Steve Tarlton] said. “It is possible, so more study is being done. But we are convinced it is not conclusive that there is a leak.”[…]

Hamrick showed a 1975 map of groundwater contamination spread and compared it to a 2010 map. “We see things are getting a lot better. The amount of uranium out there is a lot less and it is not like things are spread out, things are getting better,” Hamrick said.

More coverage from Rachel Alexander writing for The Cañon City Daily Record. From the article:

The documents under review by CDPHE, the Environmental Protection agency and the public are the New Evaporation Pond Conceptual Design; the Onsite Soil Excavation and Groundwater Characterization Process Plan; and the Soil Remediation Criteria Selection.

This is the first round of documents that are being developed by Cotter as part of the process to terminate its radioactive materials license and the deletion of the site from the Superfund list. About 50 people attended the meeting.

“This is a process as we get down the road and try to figure out how to clean up this site,” said CDPHE public information officer Jeannine Natterman. “We’re going forward together with this.”

“We’re reviewing these documents at the same time you are,” said Steve Tarlton, radiation program manager of the hazardous materials and waste management division of CDPHE.

Tarlton and Cotter’s Vice President of Milling John Hamrick made brief presentations about the three documents and the decisions that the department will be making before a question and answer period was conducted.

“It is our understanding that the public wants to be more involved in the document reviews,” Tarlton said.

“We have been producing documents and will be producing documents for review by CDPHE,” Hamrick said. “I’m here to tell you tonight that we’re committed to cleaning up our mill. We do take this obligation very seriously and intend to be able to close this mill in compliance with all standards.”

More nuclear coverage here and here.