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Residents Voice Concern About Uranium Mining Print

Lawmakers listen to their worries about Canadian company's plans. 


NUNN - Residents near Nunn got the chance Sunday to talk with lawmakers about the proposed areas to be mined by Powertech Uranium Corp. in the prairie east of Wellington.

Rep. John Kefalas, D-Fort Collins, and Rep. Randy Fischer, D-Fort Collins, met with concerned residents who say the uranium mining will contaminate the area's groundwater and, as a result, negatively affect the health of livestock.


Rep. Randy Fischer talks with Robin Davis at her home near Nunn on Sunday about Powertech's plans to mine for uranium in the area. 


The company hasn't applied to Weld County or state regulators for permits to mine the area but hopes for approval to start mining by the end of 2009, according to Powertech Vice President of Environmental Health and Safety Resources Richard Blubaugh.

Kefalas, who is against the Canadian company's plan to mine in the area, said he's most concerned about the quality of the area's groundwater.

"Personally, I think the risks far outweigh the benefits. I'm here to stop this," he said.

Kefalas also said he admires the way local citizens have banded together to show their disapproval of the mining.

"It's important to see how people organize themselves," Kefalas said. "They're going to put up a good fight."

Fischer also said he disapproves of the company's plans to mine and also shares Kefalas' fear that the groundwater will be contaminated.

"To me, protection of water resources is one of the biggest concerns," Fischer said.

The gathering of about 12 citizens from the area started off at the home of Robin Davis, who owns 80 acres of land east of Wellington.

Davis said she and people in the area affected by the mining will continue to fight against the company's plans to mine around her land.

"We're trying different levels of government to stop this," said Davis, who's written letters to state representatives and contacted members involved with government on the local and state levels.

Davis said her main worry about the company's plans to mine revolves around the area's water and said the contaminated water will pollute crops and livestock.

"We're concerned about the water quality and how it will affect our animals," she said.

The group left Davis' house and rejoined at Daryl Bukhart's house to survey the area.

Bukhart, who also owns 80 acres of land in the area, said in addition to the negative effect the mining could have on the groundwater, he's afraid there will be more accidents in the area from the mining equipment.

"Pipes wear out, pumps break down, accidents are bound to happen," Bukhart said.

Bukhart fears that the company will begin to mine more areas in Colorado if they aren't stopped from mining around his land.

"If they get a foot in the door, you'll see this happening all over the state," he said.

Bukhart said although he and fellow community members will try their hardest to block the company from mining in the area, he will pack his suitcases if the company starts the mining process.

"I'm going to fight for the water," Bukhart said. "Without the water, what do we have out here?"




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