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Senator urges EPA Region 8 chief to conduct "an accurate and complete analysis of the risks" posed by Powertech's proposal; requests information on "remediation of aquifer excursions and other types of site contamination caused by ISL mines"

Posted November 14, 2007



November 9, 2007 letter from Colorado Senator Ken Salazar to Robbie Roberts, Regional Administrator for Region 8 - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (pdf)


Ken Salazar


Robbie Roberts



U.S. Senator Ken Salazar

Member of the Agriculture, Energy and Veterans Affairs Committees


2300 15th Street, Suite 450 Denver, CO 80202 | 702 Hart Senate Building, Washington, D.C. 20510



For Immediate Release

Tuesday, Novemeber 13, 2007

CONTACT:Stephanie Valencia – 202-228-3630
Cody Wertz 303-350-0032


Sen. Salazar Tasks EPA to Expand Examination of Potential Impacts of Uranium Mine on Groundwater Sources in Northern Colorado


WASHINGTON, D.C. – In response to continued concerns about the possible environmental and economic impacts the Centennial uranium mining project would have on Northern Colorado, United States Senator Ken Salazar wrote a letter to Robert Roberts, Regional Administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), urging him to address these concerns in the future review of the project’s application.

As the proposed mining project is within 30 miles of a population of about 300,000 people, Senator Salazar wants to ensure that the possible environmental impacts, such as groundwater contamination as a result of the in-situ leeching process employed at uranium mines, are addressed and analyzed as thoroughly as possible when the project’s application for an Underground Injection Control Program Class III permit is reviewed by the EPA.

“Water is our lifeblood in Colorado,” said Senator Salazar. “It is critical that the citizens of Northern Colorado receive the most complete and thorough examination of the potential impacts and risks this project may pose to their communities and their groundwater. I will continue to work to ensure that that these questions get answered.”

In the letter, Senator Salazar expressed his concern that their review process will only take into account the Laramie-Fox Hills aquifer, which is in the immediate vicinity of the proposed mine and asks the EPA to consider any potential impact on the larger Denver Basin aquifer system. Senator Salazar also requested a summary of the known history of environmental impacts of in-situ mining under EPA’s Underground Injection Control Program, in the local area and throughout the United States. Lastly, Senator Salazar asked that the EPA provide a summary of its experience with the remediation of aquifer excursions and other types of site contamination caused by in-situ leeching mines.