HOUSE BILL 1161 RULEMAKING IMMINENT
Posted August 27, 2008
On May 20, 2008, Colorado Governor Bill Ritter signed House Bill 1161, the most comprehensive state legislation in the U.S. regarding in-situ leach uranium mining and ground water protection. The bill was sponsored by state legislators Steve Johnson, John Kefalas, and Randy Fischer, all from Fort Collins.
HB-1161 was introduced in response to the groundswell of opposition to the proposal by Canadian company Powertech Uranium Corp. to mine uranium in northern Colorado. The southern tip of the proposed mining area is only seven miles from the city limits of Fort Collins.
Since the signing, state mining regulators have been working to draft rules and regulations to implement the bill. The rulemaking process involves public hearings, and it is expected that Powertech, other uranium mining companies, and the Colorado Mining Association will attempt to weaken the rules, particularly regarding clean-up of ground water aquifers.
The industry has deep pockets and will likely hire numerous pro-uranium mining consultants to testify at these rulemaking hearings. In contrast, concerned landowners who are trying to protect their water rely on donations to hire experts to analyze and comment on proposed rules.
The flyer reprinted below was sent to me by several area landowners who are trying to increase awareness of the HB-1161 rulemaking process and raise funds to hire experts to review the proposed rules. The flyer seeks donations to Coloradoans Against Resource Destruction, the main group opposing Powertech's proposal. Since Powertech has threatened legal action against some who have spoken out against uranium mining in northern Colorado, the authors of the flyer choose to remain anonymous.
A link to a downloadable PDF file is included below. Please print copies and distribute to your friends and neighbors.