NEWS ARCHIVE ◊ 2012
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◊ NEWS ARCHIVE - 2010
◊ NEWS ARCHIVE - 2009
◊ NEWS ARCHIVE - 2008
JULY 19, 2012
COMMENT ON WHITE MESA MILL NITRATE PLUME
CORRECTIVE ACTION PLAN
Comments Due August 22
The Utah Department of Environmental Quality, Division of Radiation Control (CRC, is requesting public comment regarding a proposed Stipulation and Consent Order, Docket No. UGW12-04 (Order) (including Attachment 1). The proposed Order is being issued to approve a corrective action plan for remediation of ground water contaminated with nitrate at the Denison Mines (USA) Corp. White Mesa Uranium Mill located near Blanding, Utah. The Public Notice and Statement of Basis provide more information about this Order.
• Public Notice
• Statement of Basis
• Stipulation and Consent Order
• Corrective Action Plan - May 2012
JULY 9, 2012
BLM RELEASES LA SAL MINES COMPLEX DRAFT
ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT FOR PUBLIC COMMENT
Comments Due August 21
The Moab Field Office of the Bureau of Land Management released the draft Environmental Assessment (EA) for the La Sal Mines Complex for public comment (EA DOI-BLM-UT-Y010-2011-0048). The draft EA addresses the Denison Mines (USA) Corporation La Sal Mines Complex Plan of Operations Amendment. The BLM has extended the comment period from August 6 to August 21.
Send comments to:
Bureau of Land Management
Moab Field Office
82 East Dogwood
Moab, UT 84532
Or email to:
View and Download the EA and accompanying documents:
Additional La Sal Mines Complex Information, Click HERE!
MAY 20, 2012
GREEN RIVER NUCLEAR REACTOR
On May 19, 2012, a large group of South East Utah citizens and their friends gathered in Green River to celebrate the River and protest plans for a nuclear reactor a few miles west of Green River.
The protest joined Utah and citizens from the tribal lands in the lower Colorado River whose lives and well being would be impacted by the operation of a highly risky and radioactive energy producing operation in the Colorado River Basin.
More on Proposed Reactor and Protest -
• No Green River Nuke
• Uranium Watch - Blue Castle Project
• Watch on U-Tube
• Inside Climate News - May 17, 2012
• Salt Lake Tribune Article - May 19, 2012
• Salt Lake Tribune Editorial - May 19, 2012
• Deseret News - May 20, 2012
• Daily Yonder - May 22, 2012
MAY 18, 2012
URANIUM WATCH/INFORM/LIVING RIVERS
HOST URANIUM CONFAB IN MOAB
Uranium Watch, Information Network for Responsibile Mining, Living Rivers, and the Indegenious Environmental Network/Western Mining Action Network sponsored the First Ever Uranium Confab in Moab on May 14 to 16 in Moab, Utah. The sessions included talks about the Colorado River, Environmental Justice Work Related to Uranium Mining on Indigenous Lands; Assessment of Radionuclides and Trace Elements from the White Mesa Mill; The Federal Mining Landscape: Politics and Policies; The Uranium Industry & The Uravan Mineral Belt; Uranium Development in Northern Arizona; In-Situ Leach Mining and Campaigns; Radon Vents 101; and Uranium Recovery Health Impacts: Is Radiation Exposure Good For You? The Confab included panel discussions and field trips to the Moab Uranium Mill reclamation site and uranium mines in La Sal, Utah.
It was a very successful event, attended by activists in Colorado, Utah, South Dakota, New Mexico, Arizona, Reno, Washington, D.C. and beyond.
Additional Information -
• Agenda - May 14, 2012
• Agenda - May 15, 2012
• Slide Presentations
APRIL 24, 2012
DENISON MINES TO SELL WHITE MESA MILL AND
URANIUM MINES TO ENERGY FUELS INC.
Denison Mines (USA) Corp. and Energy Fuels Inc., both Canadian companies, have announced a complex financial and organizational deal that would transfer the White Mesa Uranium Mill, Denison's uranium mines, and other properties to EFI in exchange for EFI stock. Denison's CEO, Ron Hochstein, and other Denison corporate managers would become part of EFI's directorate. This deal will have to be approved by Canadian and US regulators, including the Utah Division of Radiation Control, which licenses the White Mesa Uranium Mill. Denison posted losses of over $70 million in 2011. There are reports that Denison is getting off its less valuable US holdings, so they will get a better price when they sell their Canadian, Mongolian, and other international uranium interests.
EFI is the company that has received a license for the proposed Piñon Ridge Uranium Mill, in the Paradox Valley, Montrose County, Colorado. EFI stated in a webcast for stockholders that they will "defend" their license, which has been challenged in Colorado court by Sheep Mt. Alliance and others. EFI stated that the decision to construct and operate the mill would depend on the uranium market. Denison and EFI have operating mines, mines on stand-by, and proposed mining or milling operations or expansions in Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and Wyoming.
In Utah there are several outstanding Denison applications that are still undergoing regulatory agency review:
• The Division of Radiation Control (DRC) is still reviewing the comments on the White Mesa Mill license renewal. Due to recent changes to the Department of Environmental Quality administrative procedures (in any appeal, issues must now `be brought up first in the public comment period), the DRC said they will need to provide a second opportunity for comment.
• The Bureau of Land Management and US Forest Service have yet to release the Environmental Assessment for the expansion of the La Sal Mines Complex. Uranium Watch has requested that the agencies develop a full Environmental Impact Statement.
• Denison and the operator of the Pandora Mine have contested $187,900 in Mine Safety and Health Administration penalties, most of which are associated with the death of an underground Pandora Mine worker in 2010. This year, the mines have $11,124 in proposed penalties—$10,000 for one penalty because of failure to post barriers and warning signs.
MARCH 27 , 2012
URANIUM WATCH AND OTHERS APPEAL STATE ENGINEER APPROVAL OF WATER FOR
GREEN RIVER NUCLEAR REACTOR
Today attorneys for Uranium Watch, Living Rivers, HEAL Utah, Center for Water Advocacy, Moki Mac River Expeditions, Holiday River Expeditions, Utah Rivers Council and others filed a request that the Utah District Court review the State Engineer's decision to provide water for the Blue Castle Project nuclear reactor. This request and complaint is the only way to challenge the withdrawal of 53,600 acre-feet of Green River water and the significant impacts to water availability, the local agricultural economy, the river ecology, and the health and wellbeing of the community.
FEBRUARY 28, 2012
STATE ENGINEER REJECTS REQUESTS FOR RECONSIDERATION
On February 28, 2012, Kent L. Jones, Utah State Engineer, rejected the Requests for Reconsideration of the January 20, 2012, orders grating water rights for the development of the Blue Castle nuclear reactor project near Green River. Uranium Watch, Living Rivers, HEAL Utah, and other protestors had filed Requests for Reconsideration on February 9.
In denying the requests, the State Engineer addressed some of the issues related to Blue Castle Holdings Inc. (BCH) financial dealings and ability to fund the project. These issues had been the subject of two recent articles in the Salt Lake Tribune. The State Engineer dismissed questions about BCH finances, indicating that any misstatements and misinformation were not what the State Engineer relied on. However, the State Engineer did not say exactly what financial information formed the basis for the decision that "the applicants have demonstrated a financial ability to complete the proposed works commensurate with this stage of a process that ultimately seeks to put to beneficial use the water proposed in the applications.”
In addition to questioning BCH's ability to fund the project, the reconsideration requests questioned the availability of water and the general feasibility of the project.
• Order Denying Requests for Reconsideration
• Division of Water Rights News Release
• Additional Information
• Real money? Blue Castle defends Utah reactor financing -
SL Tribune - February 27
• Feds: Company backing Utah nuclear plant is a fraud -
SL Tribune- January 27, 2012
• Utah gives green light to nuclear power plant - SL Tribune- January 20, 2012
FEBRUARY 10, 2012
REQUESTS FOR STATE ENGINEER RECONSIDERATION
OF BLUE CASTLE PROJECT WATER RIGHTS DECISION
On February 9, 2012, Uranium Watch, Living Rivers, Center for Water Advocacy, and three Moab citizens submitted a Request for Reconsideration to Kent L. Jones, the Utah State Engineer, requesting reconsideration of the decision to grant water rights for the proposed nuclear reactor near the town of Green River. The January 20, 2012, State Engineer orders approved the Kane and San Juan County Water Conservancy Districts' requests to transfer rights to water in the San Juan and Colorado Rivers to the Green River for use at the Blue Castle Project. HEAL Utah, Center for Biological Diversity, Sierra Club, Utah Rivers Council, and other protestors also submitted a Request for Reconsideration.
Protestors challenged State Engineer determinations that the there was sufficient water for the proposed project, that the project was physically and economically feasible, and that the project would not adversely affect other users, recreation, and the ecology of the river. Additionally, Uranium Watch asserted that the lease agreement between Blue Castle Holdings Inc. and the Kane County Water Conservancy District had expired in 2010. The State Engineer has 20 days to make a decision on the requests. If no response is received, it is an authomatic denial. If a denial is received, the next step would be a request for judicial review of the State Engineer's orders.
• Uranium Watch Request for Reconsideration
• List of Exhibits
• Exhibits A - I
• Exhibits J - K
• HEAL Utah Request for Reconsideration
• Additional Information
JANUARY 30, 2012
URANIUM WATCH DISCOVERS STATE ENGINEER MISLED ABOUT FINANCING FOR
GREEN RIVER REACTOR
January 20, 2012, State Engineer Kent L. Jones of Utah Division of Water Rights (DWR) granted approval for the withdrawal of water from the Green River for the proposed nuclear reactor near Green River. See article below. The Orders of the State Engineer determined that the Kane and San Juan County Water Conservancy Districts, through Blue Castle Holdings, Inc. (BCH), has the financial ability to complete the proposed 2-unit nuclear reactor. The Orders (page 12-13) state: "BCH submitted information indicating it has entered into an agreement with LeadDog Capital L.P. for private equity financing to provide up to $30 million in capital in exchange for Blue Castle common stock BCH submitted information indicating it has entered into an agreement with LeadDog Capital L.P. for private equity financing to provide up to $30 million in capital in exchange for Blue Castle common stock."
The State Engineer’s decision was based in part on the assumption that BCH had an agreement with LeadDog Capital to provide up to $30 million in capital. The information that the State Engineer relied on is also found in a June 29, 2011, BCH Press Release that was submitted to the State Engineer by counsel for the Kane and San Juan County Water Conservancy Districts as part of the water rights proceeding. It turns out LeadDog Capital was engaged in fraudulent and illegal practices and deceiving investors. It turns out at the time of the BCH Press Release, LeadDog had only $4.25 million in assets, most of which were illiquid. Even if the company was not involved in fraudulent activities, they clearly did not have the money to provide BCH with capital for the Blue Castle Project.On January 25, 2012, Uranium Watch discovered that on November 15, 2011, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) instituted administrative proceedings against unregistered investment adviser LeadDog Capital Markets LLC and its general partners and owners Chris Messalas and Joseph LaRocco for misrepresenting or failing to disclose material information to investors in the LeadDog Capital LP fund.
According to a December 1, 2011, SEC news release, “SEC Division of Enforcement alleges that LeadDog, Messalas, and LaRocco induced investors to invest in a hedge fund they controlled through material misrepresentations and omissions concerning among other things Messalas’s negative regulatory history as a securities professional, compensation received by Messalas and LaRocco in connection with the fund’s investments, and Messalas’s substantial ownership interest in, and control of, some of the same companies to which he directed fund investments.”When this information came out in a Salt Lake Tribune Article on January 27, 2012, BCH claimed they had no financial agreement with LeadDog and removed the Press Release from the BCH website. Links to additional information on page 2.
• SEC Administrative Enforcement - November 11, 2011
• SEC News Release - December 1, 2011
• Salt Lake Tribune Article - January 27, 2012
JANUARY 20, 2012
STATE ENGINEER APPROVES WATER RIGHTS FOR
BLUE CASTLE NUCLEAR REACTOR PROJECT
Kent Jones, the State Engineer, Utah Division of Water Rights, has approved the water right change applications to provide 53,600 acre-feet of water from the Green River for the proposed Blue Castle Project Nuclear Reactor a few miles west of the town of Green River. The decisions addressed a number of issues related to the provision of water for the reactor. The State Engineer determined that the water must be put to beneficial use by 2015 (San Juan County Water Conservancy District Water) and 2017 (Kane County Water Conservancy District Water). Given the time it will take to license and construct a nuclear reactor in Green River, it would be impossible to put the water to beneficial use by those dates.
• Division of Water Rights Press Release
• Kane County WCD Decision
• San Juan County WCD Decision
JANUARY 5, 2012
DOE RELEASES LEGACY MANAGEMENT UPDATE
4TH QUARTER 2011
The U.S. Department of Energy Office of Legacy Management has issued the October-December 2011 Program Update. The Update discusses the DOE preparation of the Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) for the Uranium Leasing Program. Tentatively, the DOE expects the Draft PEIS being completed by April 30, 2012, and made available for public comment. The Final PEIS is expected by May 24, 2013.
• DOE PEIS Information Center
• Public Scoping Meetings - Transcripts
The Update discusses the Progress in Addressing Past Uranium Mining Impacts in New Mexico and on the Navajo Nation
The Update also discusses the extension of Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA) benefits to workers at 17 sites remediated by the DOE under Title I of the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Conrol Act of 1978. For additional information about these sites and the benefits available under EEOICPA, visit the U.S. Department of Labor website.
For more information on covered DOE facilities, visit the Office of Health, Safety and Security's website.
If you have any questions regarding the Update, contact Brenda Waters at (202) 586-3559 or e-mail LM@hq.doe.gov
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Last Updated October 16, 2012