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.


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