by Emily Hornback, WCC Organizer
The Colorado Dept. of Health and the Environment (CDPHE) announced in January that it would suspend a rulemaking process it started in the Fall regarding the licensing of uranium mills. This rulemaking process aimed to reconcile Colorado’s laws to federal requirements after they were found to be out of compliance with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Over the fall, WCC and allies across Colorado attended hearings and submitted comments to CDPHE regarding the transparency, length of comment periods, bonding rates, and overall public inclusion within the mill licensing process. Although WCC appreciated CDPHE’s efforts to update and improve its process, the proposed rule did not fully address our concerns.
Shortly after the rulemaking was suspended, Colorado Communities Against Toxic Waste (CCAT) from Canyon City announced that it will work this legislative session “to update our state regulations for uranium milling and processing.”
As the legislative sessions gets underway, WCC’s Uranium and Legislative Committees are keeping a close watch on potential bills that would not only fix the licensing process, but also guard against irresponsible new methods of uranium mining, and protect water quality.
Since there is no shortage of uranium and radioactive waste issues to address on the Western Slope, WCC has formed a Uranium Issues Committee to guide our work in this area for the next year. We’ve got lots of great campaigns to work on, and welcome your participation. Our next meeting is Tuesday, Feb 25th @ 3pm in Delta. Please contact Emily@wccongress.org for more information!