Uranium mill facing tough battle in Montrose County

It’s becoming more clear that the fate of a proposed uranium mill in Montrose County is going to hinge on the outcome of a major battle pitting supporters of traditional industry against environmental organizations voicing concerns about the health implications of a mill near Naturita.

The mill has the water rights it needs to operate, so the question is whether efforts to limit water development in the West End are geared less to preventing construction than they are to hindering growth overall.

With the decision by the Sheep Mountain Alliance to withdraw from settlement negotiations for the construction of a dam, it’s looking as though this is more than a fight against a working mill.

The move preserves the alliance’s right to sue if it doesn’t like the outcome, but it also looks a lot like preparations to prevent development of any sort in one of the most economically depressed regions of the state.

The Sheep Mountain Alliance should not have pulled out of the water-rights talks. We urge the organization to rejoin discussions and reach a long overdue settlement.


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