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Town’s drinking water, and its economy, threatened by uranium milling

“The increased presence of radionuclide particles that will contaminate our surface water bodies, currently used as our municipal drinking water source, is of critical concern to the Town of Telluride.”….it could affect the tourist population, he said, it endangers Telluride’s economy.

(USA) Town of Telluride protests uranium millTown pens letter to CDPHE Telluride Daily Planet, By Katie Klingsporn, November 21, 2010 A group of environmentalists from the Telluride region has been hustling for more than a year to protest a uranium mill proposed to go up in Paradox Valley, a lonely, windswept valley in western Montrose County.
Now, the Telluride Town Council is hopping aboard the opposition movement.

Members of council and town staff are in the process of penning a letter to Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment officials that details concerns that the uranium mill could damage the health of the region’s people, environment and economy.

“The town and our local residents and visitors are very concerned about the possible significant and long-term deleterious impacts that could occur if the Piñon Ridge Facility is approved by CDPHE and becomes an operational mill for the processing of uranium ore,” reads a draft of the letter.

A Canadian company, Energy Fuels, hopes to construct and operate a uranium mill at the Piñon Ridge site in Paradox Valley. The mill site would cover 17 acres and have a capacity of 500 tons of ore a day, and would have an expected operating life of 40 years………….
the chief concern for the town is the danger a uranium mill could pose to the region’s water and air quality. The letter explains that air modeling research from Dr. Mark Williams from the University of Colorado INSTAAR has shown that airborne materials are transported easterly by prevailing winds — and the fear is that dangerous particulates will settle into the San Juan snowpack and end up in the local drinking water.

“The question is not whether this will occur, but how significant is the increase of airborne and windborne radionuclide particles as a direct result of the potential operation of Piñon Ridge and the feeder mine operations that will support Piñon Ridge,” the letter reads. “The increased presence of radionuclide particles that will contaminate our surface water bodies, currently used as our municipal drinking water source, is of critical concern to the Town of Telluride.”

The letter also requests that the CDPHE consider enlarging the current 50-mile study radius for the environmental impacts of the mill and include a baseline monitoring component within the Telluride region with regard to air- and windborne radionuclide particles………..because it could affect the tourist population, he said, it endangers Telluride’s economy.

Telluride Daily Planet > News

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November 22, 2010 - Posted by | USA, water | , , , , , ,

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