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Colorado law sanctioning uranium mills complicates plans for New Mexico mine

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abqmufc Donating Member (590 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 10:54 AM
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Colorado law sanctioning uranium mills complicates plans for New Mexico mine
"A controversial plan to open an old uranium mine on Mt. Taylor near Grants, New Mexico, faces an obstacle in the new law passed by the Colorado legislature that forbids increased operations at uranium mills until the mill companies clean up sites contaminated in the past. The Cotter Uranium Mill, just a little over a mile south of Caon City is owned by the same company that owns the Mt. Taylor mine and is the designated recipient of future Mt. Taylor uranium ore. Under the new law, which Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter has yet to sign, Cotter would not be able to accept the ore, at least not any time soon."......

"Proposed mine is within a Traditional Cultural Property

Compounding these concerns is that much of the proposed new mining is on or very near Mt. Taylor, which is a sacred site to some American Indian peoples, including the Navajo Nation, the Hopi, the Zuni, and the nearby Laguna and Acoma Pueblos. Those five groups successfully petitioned the state to permanently designate Mt. Taylor an official Traditional Cultural Property in 2009. That designation doesnt give the tribes veto power over mining proposals within the almost 400,000 acre expanse of land, but it does give them an avenue to provide more substantive input on development decisions that come before the federal and state agencies in charge of permitting.

The owner of the Mt. Taylor mine is Rio Grande Resources, a wholly owned subsidiary of the same company that owns the Cotter MillGeneral Atomics Corporation. The environmental record of General Atomics at the Cotter Mill is cause for concern in New Mexico, said Eric Jantz, attorney for the New Mexico Environmental Law Center.

Since General Atomics acquired the Cotter Corporation in 2000, the company has had over a hundred violations of federal and state environmental laws, Jantz said. This demonstrates a pattern of willful disregard for environmental law, which is a real concern for the community.

General Atomics has not responded to requests for comment"
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