|Paper||Canyon Country Zephyr|
|Rights||In Copyright (InC)|
|Rights Holder||Tonya Auden Stiles, Moab, Utah|
|Publisher||Digitized by J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah|
|Paper||Canyon Country Zephyr|
Whether the material was being processed primarily for the source material content was FROM AROUND a major concern. Also questioned was whether the current tailings’ impoundment liner system and the groundwater monitoring program were appropriate to handle these new wastes. THE BEND... State officials, in objecting to the shipments, indicated that International Uranium had received a windfall $4,050,000 to handle a material that contained no more than $600,000 worth of uranium. - The processing of materials with minimal uranium content while the facility received In San Juan County a huge “recycling” fee constituted “sham disposal” the State said. The mill had become a true “de facto” radioactive waste dump. Uranium extraction was only a pretext to dispose of the waste in the mill's waste dump. On April 9, 1999, the Utah Radiation Control Board considered a rule that would require a minimum uranium contents of 0.05% for the so-called “alternate feed material” -for processing in a uranium mill. The rule was tabled, and the Board seemingly wiped its hands of the matter: "However sympathetic or empathetic the Board may be to one or both parties, Utah is not an Agreement State with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission regarding the processing of uranium ore or the on-site disposal of byproduct material. Thus, the Board has no authority to act for either proponents or opponents of the White Mesa Mill regarding routine milling operations or the existence of the mill per se...interested parties encouraged to address their issues to the agencies with regulatory authority.” are Where now does the State of Utah stand on the matter? The State is working to enact By Ken Sleight Agreement State status with the NRC to the regulation of uranium mills and tailings. This action would allow the State to regulate the alternate feed processing largely by itself. However, the environment continues to suffer. Violations are stacking up. In August 1999, chloroform levels 47 times higher than that allowed by Utah state rules, was found MORE NUCLEAR WASTE COMING... in a groundwater monitoring well at the White Mesa mill. On September 29, 1999, a truck that carried 20 tons of hazardous material, originating from the Ashland 1 site at THE NEED FOR AN EIS AND HEALTH STUDIES Tonawanda, overturned near Cisco, Utah spilling much of its cargo. Many persons have died over the years due to radiation exposure from working in the uranium mines and mills and having been exposed to fallout from atmospheric nuclear weapons testing conducted in Nevada. Now come nuclear waste dumps. One has sprung It's not that many of us haven't tried to keep the mill from bringing in the hazardous Manhattan Project wastes. ...But the perilous material keeps piling up. up right under our noses at White Mesa in San Juan County. It's not that many of us haven't tried to keep the mill from bringing in the hazardous Manhattan Project wastes. On several occasions, some of us in San Juan County provided _ written and oral statements to the Utah Radiation Control Board. White Mesa Ute leader, Norman Begay, often led his troops to Salt Lake City to object. The Ute people followed this up by marching and demonstrating at the mill itself. But the perilous material keeps piling up. The dumping issue first arose in 1993 when material was received from Teledyne Wah Chang in Oregon by UMETCO Minerals. The State rightly challenged the basis of the approval about whether the material was being * processed primarily for its source material content or whether it was to be stored in White Mesa's waste dump. The material was returned to Oregon without being processed although the NRC upheld the amendment request. After that incidence, the NRC drafted the “Guidance on Alternate Feed Materials” in 1995. This established the regulatory and policy framework for uranium mills that accepted alternate feed materials. The criteria dictated that the materials “(1) meets the definition of ore, (2) could not contain listed hazardous waste, and (3) had to be processed primarily for source material content.” These criteria have not been faithfully followed In 1996, Energy Fuels and its successor, International Uranium Corporation, first requested license amendments for alternate feed materials. Materials came from Allied Signal, Cotter Concentrate, and Cameco. And then the flood gates opened: from the Cabot Corporation near Boyertown, Pennsylvania with its leaky containers; from Linde, New York with its 100,000 cubic yards of dangerous waste; from the Ashland 2 site at Tonawanda, New York; from the W.R. Grace Corp. site in Chattanooga, Tennessee with its 93,000 cubic yards of waste; from the Ashland 1 and Seaway sites near Tonawanda; and from the St. Louis area, with a whopping 1,000,000 cubic yards of waste. This material has minimal uranium content but a much higher volume of other assorted waste materials. On July 5, 2000, an amendment request was made to receive up to 2000 cubic yards of “alternate feed material” from the Heritage Minerals Site in Lakehurst, New Jersey. A request for a hearing was filed by Sarah Fields of Moab and that case is still before the . NRC. There may be no end in sight to the requests International en might make. The State, in September 1998, raised several concerns and filed a formal administrative action regarding the Ashland 2 materials. The State alleged that these materials from Tonawanda, New York and shipped to the White Mesa mill, contained hazardous waste and that its handling and disposal could violate applicable laws and could harm humans, wildlife and natural resources, including ground and surface water. A federal administrative judge ruled on February 9, 1999, that the complaints were unfounded. In March 2000, empty transportation containers exceeded contamination limits. ~ International Uranium in late February 2000 was required to send loads of imported Tonawanda waste back to Tonawanda because on inspéction it was too heavy with chemicals. Some vehicles were reportedly found “externally contaminated upon arrival at Tonawanda.” The White Mesa mill received a shipment of hazardous waste from Boston, Massachusetts which was co-mingled with a pile of Tonawanda waste. The EPA took the matter under advisement. . The Utah Division of Solid and Hazardous Waste reportedly ordered International Uranium from the pile.” A citizen reported that some leading from the White Mesa from the water residue coming “to segregate and remove the hazardous waste component radiated debris may have been spilled along the roadway mill, surmising that this probably was due to spillage or from trucks after faulty washing at the mill. Some truck drivers may not have been officially authorized or properly trained to haul the waste. Trucks carrying these dangerous cargos have often been parked on the streets and overnight in Moab. There have been continued administrative and testing infractions. But the question remains. Where is the mill to store these combined wastes? The tailings’ capacity at the White Mesa mill is insufficient for the proposed processing of more alternate feed material. Its disposal cells 2 and 3 are rapidly filling. To make room for the prospective new wastes, the corporsHics has asked the NRE for approval to expand its area at White Mesa. In making its projections, the company discovered it had a shortfall of about 230,000 tons of capacity. It needed a modification of its Reclamation Plan to allow storage of 325,000 tons of material in another 9-acre cell impoundment area. This should trigger — environmental impact studies. Health and environmental matters are being neglected. We need to push county, state and federal officials to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) concerning this urgent matter. None had yet been prepared. KZMU...Mloab Community Radio 89.7 & 106. 1...It's about Music Hey Man, Nuclear Ned is MY man. DO YOU LOVE A GOOD MYSTERY? g Donny & Joe Kiffmeyer? You mean Harpo & Chico? Then Read This! Environmental terrorists! Real Estate scams! Philandering husbands! A murder mystery played out against Utah's gorgeous Three Words: “Women In Rock.” red rock scenery! Real estate agent Annie Eisenstein knows most of First in a series. Available as an electronic book: http://www.vangoachbooks.com http://www.rosenbergmystery.com Moab's residents by sight, but it takes a murder to bring them into sharp focus.