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Concerned citizens warn over new uranium mill

Published On: Nov 06 2012 05:06:59 PM CST

The future of a new uranium mill in Colorado could be on the line this week.

Public hearings are scheduled to begin Wednesday for the proposed Pinon Ridge Uranium Mill near Nucla.

The hearings come after a district judge's ruling that found the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) violated federal law by shutting out the public in the permitting of the proposed mill.

"Those citizens need to have every bit of input that they can during the entire process," said Carol Dunn, co-founder of Colorado Citizens Against ToxicWaste (CCAT), a group of residents who live near the Cotter Mill in Canon City, a Superfund site since 1984. The group wrote a letter to CDPHE raising concerns about whether state regulators can provide adequate oversight over the Pinon Ridge Mill.

The letter stated, "Ultimately, we don't believe Colorado is up to the task, as of now, in regulating the proposed Pinon Ridge Mill, which CDPHE helped design and is based on Cotter Mill schematics."

Dunn said there has been a lack of public input and lack of a plan in the Cotter Mill clean-up. There have been several reports of water contamination in the Lincoln Park groundwater.

"We found another pool under the golf course which needs to be addressed and we also have some questions on town wells, monitoring wells," said Dunn.

The clean-up process on Cotter Mill was put on hold in March, while the health department officials review past cleanup projects to determine how effective they were, and if they can be duplicated in future projects.

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