Denver District Court rules that the CDPHE must hold an administrative hearing for the proposed Piñon Ridge Mill

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From The Telluride Daily Planet (Collin McRann):

The ruling from Judge John N. McMullen dismissed 10 of the environmental, health and safety claims brought against the Colorado Department of Public Heath and Environment concerning the issuance of the materials license. It did, however, determine that the CDPHE failed to offer the opportunity to the public to request a public hearing before it issued the environmental report and draft license for the project to Canadian company Energy Fuels, Inc. The ruling mandates that that such hearing take place.

The claims were first filed in Denver’s district court in February 2011 by Telluride-based Sheep Mountain Alliance; the Towns of Telluride and Ophir later joined the suit. Opponents challenged the CDPHE’s decision to issue the license on the basis that it violated certain federal Atomic Energy Act rules by not allowing required vetting opportunities by the public, among other things.

Energy Fuels and the CDPHE, meanwhile, countered that they performed a rigorous and exhaustive review process, went through all the steps required of them and included the public.

The case has been in court for months now, with final responses filed late this winter.

“It’s not 100 percent of what we wanted, but it’s 95 percent of what we wanted,” said Curtis Moore, director of communications and legal affairs for Energy Fuels. “So we’ll keep moving forward.”

Though nothing has been scheduled, the hearing must be held by the CDPHE within 75 days of July 5. During the hearings, both sides will be given time to present their arguments and even cross examine each other.

As of late this week, SMA project coordinator Jennifer Thurston said the group’s lawyers were reviewing the 20-page court ruling. However, she said the SMA is looking forward to the hearings.

More nuclear coverage here and here.

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