by Andrew Villegas
The Greeley Tribune
December 18, 2007
Opponents of a proposed uranium mine near Nunn have collected more than 5,700 signatures from residents opposed to the operation, and they are presenting it to cities and towns in an effort to stop the mine before it starts.
The group collecting the signatures, Coloradoans Against Resource Destruction, has 5,735 signatures -- nearly one for every 5,760 acres of property Powertech Incorporated wants to mine near Nunn.
Lilias Jones Jarding, a member of the group, said the petition may show Powertech just how much opposition there is to the mine.
"If I was them I'd certainly think twice," Jarding said. "I've never heard of uranium mining so close to a population center."
Jarding said 275,000 people live within 20 miles of the proposed mine -- which would gather uranium from the ground using chemically-treated water pumped into the earth.
Fort Collins City Council has adopted a resolution against the mine, and opponents are trying to get other cities and towns to follow suit.
But the board that will ultimately decide if Powertech gets to mine for uranium is the Board of Weld County Commissioners.
Commissioners said Monday that Powertech hasn't applied for the land-use change permit it will need from Weld officials before it can start operations.
Before the company can ask the commissioners for approval, it will need three permits from different state and federal agencies, Jarding said.
Commissioner Dave Long said Weld hasn't received an application for the facility yet and that it would take several months for commissioners to make a decision because of the complexity of the issue.
Long said most of the comment he has heard from residents is against the mine.