Two groups challenge water-rights applications

Two Utah environmental organizations are challenging water-rights applications for a proposed uranium mill in Colorado.

Red Rock Forests and Living Rivers filed statements of opposition in Montrose County Water Court to applications by Energy Fuels Resources LLC for three permits.

The company is seeking 500 acre-feet of water that feeds into to the Dolores River for milling at the proposed Pi&#241on Ridge Uranium Mill near Paradox and 500 acre-feet in the form of captured rainwater needed to prevent water discharges from the site.

Red Rock Forests is concerned about the “speculative nature of uranium mining and milling” in the region and whether Energy Fuels Resources will hold the water right without developing the mill, acting Director Harold Shepherd said.

Red Rock Forests is objecting on similar grounds to water rights for a proposed nuclear generation station in Green River, Utah.

The Bureau of Land Management is considering the Dolores River for status as a wild and scenic river, and diverting water for the mill could threaten that, said John Weisheit, conservation director for Living Rivers.

Energy Fuels filed its application for the permit in October with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.


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