State issues mixed decision on uranium mill
A state official on Thursday rejected an environmental organization’s appeal of a license for a uranium mill near Naturita, but stopped short of issuing a new permit.
The Telluride-based Sheep Mountain Alliance last year appealed a decision by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and a Denver District judge invalidated the license.
As part of the ruling, the department was required to conduct hearings in which witnesses could be cross-examined, a process that was undertaken over several days last year in Nucla.
The decision by Dr. Christopher Urbina, executive director of the Health Department, leaves the question of whether to issue a radioactive materials-handling permit to Energy Fuels Inc.
That decision will be taken up by the department’s radiation-management program, which is to make a decision in April on whether to reissue the permit.
Energy Fuels is planning to build a $150 million mill, the first to be built in the United States in three decades, near Naturita.