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Uranium Mining Battle Escalates Print

As the state begins the legislature-mandated rulemaking process tomorrow (May 27th), Fort Collins Clean Water Action members deliver 1,500 letters to Governor Ritter urging him to enact the strictest regulations against uranium mining in northern Colorado. The press release follows.

Fort Collins, CO. On Wednesday, May 27th 2009, the State of Colorado will begin its "rulemaking" process for mining in Colorado. This process was enacted into law during the 2008 legislative session by Senate Bill 228, signed by Governor Ritter. The bill requires that the State of Colorado -- through the Governor-appointed Mined Land Reclamation Board -- rewrite the rules for how mining occurs in Colorado and for how mined lands are reclaimed. The 2008 legislature also passed House Bill 1161 and Senate Bill 169, both which enact new regulations that must be codified by the new rulemaking process. The first "stakeholders" meeting for the rulemaking process will occur at 1:00 p.m on May 27th in Denver.

Potential uranium mining is of urgent concern to northern Colorado citizens, especially to residents of Fort Collins who will be just a few miles from the proposed Centennial in-situ leach uranium mine. The mine is proposed by a Canadian company, Powertech, which has been actively drilling test holes and has stated in the media that they will be applying for a uranium mining permit in 2009.

In March and April, Colorado's largest grassroots environmental group, Clean Water Action, organized a door-to-door campaign in Fort Collins to generate letters to Governor Ritter. Over 1,500 hand-written letters were generated, all to urge the Governor to make sure that the rulemaking process protects citizens and homeowners from uranium mining. On Wednesday morning before the afternoon rulemaking process begins, CWA will deliver the 1,500 letters to the Governor's desk in his office in the state capitol.

"The Governor needs to know that Fort Collins citizens are seriously threatened by this uranium mine," said Gary Wockner, Colorado Program Director for Clean Water Action. "We are delivering these 1,500 letters to his desk; he needs to see the letters and feel the concern of the people who wrote them."

Fort Collins citizens have many concerns including:

  • groundwater contamination of aquifers and drinking water supplies
  • negative impacts on property values for the entire community
  • long-term negative impacts of nuclear energy and the uranium mining it necessitates

"We gathered these 1,500 letters door-to-door," said Katie Sloan, a community organizer for Clean Water Action. "It is truly amazing how concerned Fort Collins residents are -- the feelings and concern that citizens expressed at the door were very powerful. I hope the Governor makes sure the rulemaking process protects citizens and protects Fort Collins."

Clean Water Action will deliver the letters to the Governor's office at 11:00 on Wednesday, May 27th. The stakeholders meeting will begin at 1:00 at the Division of Reclamation, Mining, and Safety, 1313 Sherman Street, Room 318, Denver. Clean Water Action will be attending the meeting as an official stakeholder in the rulemaking process.

More information about the meeting and rulemaking process is available here:

Information on the May 27th Stakeholder's meeting is available here:

For Immediate Release
May 26, 2009
Colorado Clean Water Action
Contact: Gary Wockner, 970-218-8310, 970-221-0148

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