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Report helps fight against Powertech Print

by Howard Mike Williams (Editorial)
Fort Collins Coloradoan
May 27, 2009

It's not over; however, there is good news in the battle to keep our water resources from being contaminated by in-situ-leach, or ISL, uranium mining.

Hydrologist B.K. Darling is the author of a comprehensive report of 27 ISL uranium mines in the state of Texas. He was commissioned by the Houston law firm of Blackburn and Carter to compile a report on the condition of these mines and their impact on groundwater quality.

Five of the mines in this report are mines that Powertech Uranium Co. identifies on its Web site as ISL uranium mines that have successfully restored groundwater. The Darling report proves that statement is misleading because those mines are as polluted as the other Texas ISL mines. In fact, the report indicates that the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, or TCEQ, has on 51 occasions approved mining company requests to lower water quality for the restoration phase of these mining operations.

The Environmental Protection Agency standard for water quality as it pertains to uranium is that it not exceed 0.03 parts per million. The TCEQ has allowed mining companies to leave as much as 5.0 ppm of uranium in the aquifer after mining has been completed. That uranium level is 167 times the EPA standard.

The negative economic impact of the proposed ISL mine near Wellington should be reason enough to deny all land-use permits for uranium mining, to say nothing of the potential negative health effects associated with this toxic process.

Until now, uranium mining has been conducted in very remote places. Proposing an ISL mine 11 miles from Fort Collins is unprecedented.

The answer to this very real problem is for you to contact your elected representatives. Encourage them to oppose all permits for uranium mining in eastern Colorado, preserve our environment and aquifers, and retain the status of "best place in America to live."

Even the Canadians are placing more and more restrictions on uranium mining and prospecting. For instance, New Brunswick, Canada, on July 4, placed a ban on uranium prospecting and mining in designated watersheds and well fields. They said the residents of that region were entitled to clean drinking water.

The residents of eastern Colorado are also entitled to clean drinking water. We need to stop in-situ leach mining before it starts.

To see Darling's full report and the summary, visit www.powertechexposed.com. View a 10-minute video of uranium mining and milling in Colorado at www.downtheyellowcakeroad.org.

If you want to help with voluntary and/or monetary support in the movement against uranium mining here in Northern Colorado visit www.nunnglow.com.

Howard Mike Williams lives in Carr.




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