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What is the actual cost of the new jobs uranium mining creates? Print

by Liv Nordem Lyons (from rural Weld Country)

Letter to the Editor
Greeley Tribune
October 10, 2007

What are they thinking? Powertech, Inc. wants to use the water that residents of Weld County depend on for their drinking water, and for livestock and crops for extracting uranium, with other heavy metals as byproducts. The risk of water contamination with in-situ mining is indisputably documented.

As for health concerns, the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act has already paid $1.2 billion, mostly to uranium workers and downwinders. The Navajo can tell us horror stories about the health effects of uranium mining. They don't even live in a densely populated area. We do. We will be the downwinders this time around. Greeley is only 16 miles away.

The combination of contaminated dust and the natural weather patterns in Northern Colorado creates a nightmare. We all have been exposed to the fierce winds that lash our area. Those same winds will tear away at the contaminated mining waste and deposit it over a large area. Deposits from the 1980 St. Helens eruption easily reached Colorado. Imagine what a Weld County open pit mine could do.

The poor safety record of the leadership of Powertech should concern us. We should also worry about property taxes and taxpayers having to pick up the cleanup bill. It cost Utah taxpayers about $600 million when Atlas Corp. pulled out of Moab.

I understand that the prospect of bringing new jobs to Weld County is important. But at what cost? The jobs would be relatively short term. The water contamination, the airborne radioactive dust, the problems with selenium and the long term health problems will not.

Our Weld commissioners can stop the mining now by denying Powertech a permit. Now is the time to urge them to save our environment and way of life. Go to www.nunnglow.com for contact info.

 




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