Piñon Ridge Mill: CDPHE officials ‘failed to subject themselves to the exacting scrutiny’ — Travis Stills


From The Denver Post (Bruce Finley):

“We’re not challenging the license itself. We’re questioning the process under which they issued it. We’re just asking them to explain to us how they’re going to hold a public hearing and make sure that in any future licensing actions they will hold hearings,” Nuclear Regulatory Commission spokesman David McIntyre said. “That’s all we’re asking. Not much.”

The NRC officials restaked their position after digesting a five-page letter from Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment director Chris Urbina that accuses the NRC of interjecting itself inappropriately into a legal battle between the state agency and project opponents. “For a federal agency to come along at this late date to muddy the waters is an outrage to all the community members, stakeholders and others who took the time to participate in the public process regarding the radioactive materials license,” Urbina said in a prepared statement after sending the letter to NRC deputy directors in Washington, D.C.

The dispute arose after NRC officials conducted an inquiry and substantiated a complaint from the Telluride-based Sheep Mountain Alliance alleging CDPHE failed to hold formal public hearings on its decision to grant the license to Energy Fuels Resources last year…

“Invalidating the offending license and sending it back for the agency to hold formal hearings, as opposed to three-minute comment sessions, is the proper course” because CDPHE officials “failed to subject themselves to the exacting scrutiny” that federal law requires, attorney Travis Stills said…

“I’m not sure what else the NRC would have us do,” Energy Fuels attorney Curtis Moore said. “The process was extremely open and transparent. Most members of the public were happy to see the license issued.

More Piñon Ridge Mill coverage here. More nuclear coverage here and here.

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