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Slow progress in cleaning up uranium groundwater contamination

State records and Denver Water testing data indicate the pumping has failed to reduce uranium levels that far exceed drinking-water standards in Ralston Creek, which flows into Denver Water’s Ralston Reservoir.

Cotter Corp. puts a price on clean By Bruce FinleyThe Denver Post, 30 Sept 10, The federal government reimbursed Cotter Corp. nearly $3 million for cleanup of its toxic uranium mill near Cañon City — and could pay $3.3 million more for work in the future. But the work mopping up tailings and contaminated groundwater that began in 1984 is not scheduled to be complete until 2027.

The mill would be one of the last to be cleaned among 14 sites nationwide where the federal government had a hand in Cold War uranium processing.

The slowness feeds the anxieties of those not only around the mill but also in the Denver area, where a defunct Cotter uranium mine is polluting groundwater near Ralston Creek, which runs into a Denver drinking-water-supply reservoir…….

Cotter has resisted orders by state mining regulators to pump and treat heavily contaminated groundwater filling a mine shaft.

Cotter has begun pumping and treating water from surface alluvial ponds along Ralston Creek below the mine. State records and Denver Water testing data indicate the pumping has failed to reduce uranium levels that far exceed drinking-water standards in Ralston Creek, which flows into Denver Water’s Ralston Reservoir.

Denver Water attorneys this week are exploring legal options to compel cleanup, spokeswoman Stacy Chesney said.

“We want Cotter to clean up its mine as directed by the state,” Chesney said. Cotter Corp. puts a price on clean – The Denver Post

October 1, 2010 - Posted by | Uranium, USA, water | , , , , , ,

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