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Ensuring clean water in Colorado Print

by Robin Davis (Guest Commentary)
The Greeley Tribune
January 26, 2008

Powertech Uranium Corp continually assures us that their in-situ leach mining for Uranium will not contaminate drinking water supplies. They tell us that the process for leaching out uranium in an aquifer is totally environmentally benign. Powertech tells us that we are reactionary and that they have technology that will ensure that no toxic heavy metals nor radionuclides will leave the mining area directly over the uranium ore body. They also tell us that the area in which they propose to mine within the Laramie-Fox Hills aquifer is a contained aquifer. The solution that they will be injecting into the water is essentially as safe as "Perrier," says Powertech.

Every quote from Powertech Uranium is that the in-situ leach mining operation that they propose is totally safe.

Why then, do they oppose a recently introduced bill that will ensure the truth of these statements. If they are using technology that will ensure that our water will not be contaminated, they should embrace the bill that is proposed.

House Bill 08-1161 is a very reasonable bill.

I am very surprised to hear, also, that the Colorado Farm Bureau is considering opposing HB 08-1161 as an anti-mining bill rather than supporting is as the clean water bill that it is. I'm quite shocked that there could be any opposition to this proposed bill. I encourage you to read it all the way through. It is very reasonable. It does nothing to ban mining nor any part of mining. It just asks that mining companies restore the groundwater and the surface water to pre-mining conditions. The bill specifically names uranium in-situ leach mining.

HB 1161 will protect our precious water supplies and only requires that any mining company hire a third party consultant for baseline water and environmental tests as well as the testing during the mining process and after completion . Right now all baseline tests and any subsequent testing is done by the mining company. Seems kind of like the fox in the hen house scenario if you ask me.

We cannot live without water. There are many things we can live without, but water is not one of them. Already water is seriously limited here in Colorado. Just ask the farmers who still have wells shut off. Why would we even think of allowing pollutants into the limited water supplies that we have. Livestock could become sick if heavy metals such as selenium, arsenic and cadmium are released into our water. Our livelihood is severely threatened with the threat of polluted water. Not to mention our very lives.

Powertech Uranium has reassured us over and over about how safe this mining is and how environmentally benign it is. If they are so sure that there will be no excursions of toxic heavy metals or radionuclides into my drinking water, why are they opposing this bill? They should be, if anything, neutral on the bill. Realistically, if they truly have new and improved technology that will ensure that our water will not be polluted, they should embrace this bill.

Please contact your elected officials and ask them all to support HB 1161. Please tell everyone you know about this important clean water bill.

Robin Davis owns a horse boarding, training and riding school near Nunn.




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