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May 21, 2008


Ritter signs uranium water protection bill

DENVER -- Gov. Bill Ritter on May 20 signed House Bill 1161 to protect the state's groundwater from pollution from uranium mining.

The bill was sponsored by Fort Collins Reps. John Kefalas and Randy Fischer -- both Democrats -- and Republican Sen. Steve Johnson. The bill requires mining companies to provide assurances that they can restore groundwater quality at the mining site to pre-mining standards. The bill also requires companies to notify nearby landowners about their activities.

The bill was introduced after Canadian-based Powertech Uranium Corp. announced it planned to mine for uranium on 5,700 acres in western Weld County. Powertech has said it plans to begin seeking permits to mine uranium later this year.

Stuart Sanderson, president of the Colorado Mining Association, said his organization did not support the bill but would work to make sure it does not set unrealistic requirements that would harm the industry. He said HB 1161 "now imposes one of the most stringent regulatory programs for all uranium mining in the country."

"We will continue to work with regulators in future rulemakings to implement the complex provisions of House Bill 1161 and we will provide constructive recommendations to assist in the adoption of rules that will promote the twin goals of protecting the environment and providing for the orderly development of the state's mineral resources," Sanderson said.


http://www.ncbr.com/enews.asp?date=5/21/2008#story3 (bottom of page)