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Greeley Tribune

Greeley, Colorado

Powertech using 'attack' language

Guest Commentary

December 27, 2007

This time it's personal. Richard Blubaugh decided that the only course of action he could take in an effort to fight off opposition to Powertech's proposed uranium mining operation is to attack the Fort Collins City Council.

He first says, "The action taken by the city council was not only premature and unwarranted," and that it was also predicated on several erroneous assumptions about uranium mining.

Is it an unwarranted erroneous assumption that the contamination of the Czech Republic in-situ leaching uranium site has spread beyond the leaching zone horizontally and vertically and continues to spread, threatening groundwater? Or in the Ukraine, where groundwater contamination is spreading downstream from the site to other cities? What about the contamination and spills at Christensen Ranch, Wyo., Crow Butte, Neb., Rosita, Texas, and Beverly, South Australia?

He then rambles on about the permitting process, which is not what opposition to the mining is about, and challenges the opposition's "sound science and accurate information." Isn't it scientific enough that there continues to be contamination and irreversible damage, and that it is this scientific, accurate information that is causing the opposition and concern?

If anyone doubts the validity of this attack, consider these quotes directed at the Fort Collins council in his response to the council's resolution. "Profound disappointment, premature, unwarranted, erroneous assumptions, not based on accurate information, flawed, erroneous presumptions, erroneous impression, unwarranted conclusion, erroneous statement, inaccurate assertion, unsubstantiated, does not contribute constructively and serves as a disservice to the community."

I bet this really comforts the thousands of people who have already been affected by the bullying of mining companies like Powertech and the contamination of their water supplies and environment.

The fact that Blubaugh objects that the proposed mining project is in Weld County and not Larimer is really irrelevant since the threatened Laramie-Fox Hills aquifer is not only in Larimer and Weld, but also is in Morgan, Boulder, Adams, Arapahoe, Douglas, Elbert and El Paso counties. It also threatens others because of destructive "horizontal and vertical leaching" and contamination that continues from in-situ mining projects like those mentioned above.

So here are some more questions that need to be considered.

If Powertech is this rude, disrespectful and aggressive over a simple resolution, how are they going to react if they are permitted to mine and spill or contaminate our water supply and are expected to clean it up? And if they are permitted to mine and are confronted with violations of the laws and regulations concerning these operations? How do they expect us to believe anything they say?

Blubaugh wants us to believe only what Powertech's tests, studies and information says, and slams any other results. It appears he expects us to believe that 100 percent of other tests and studies are 100 percent wrong, 100 percent of the time.

Powertech, after viciously attacking anyone who opposes it, then asks for a reconsideration and expects us to be friends and trust it.

I ask our Weld County commissioners: Do they want to be remembered for making the decision that allowed the irreversible damage to the environment and water for millions of people along the Front Range for years to come because Powertech bullied anyone who op-posed them?

Jeff Dunn and his family live in Pierce.




Powertech is a publicly traded company. Their bottom line is making money, even if it destroys our State's environment. We the neighors of the mining sites can expect radon exposure, selenium, and water contamination. I dare Blubaugh and his ilk to have their families drink from the aquifer for the next 20 years. Blubaugh did not receive any punishment for the Atlas mining disaster. The Moab Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project reports it cost the taxpayer 60 million dollars for cleanup through 2007, and a projected $23 million in 2008. ere is the scientific truth: www.gjem.energy.gov/moab

by norseman.1