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Officials update progress at Moab mill tailings site

On Monday, two United States senators representing Utah updated the status of the uranium mill tailings project in Grand County.

In separately issued media releases on May 4, Bob Bennett and Orrin Hatch applauded the U.S. Department of Energy for completing rail construction and transporting the first tailings from the Moab mill site ahead of schedule.

"The department has made great strides to expedite the cleanup at Moab and must continue to stay on track to reduce the long-term risks," commented Bennett. "Transporting the first load of tailings ahead of schedule is a good sign that the department is using federal funds responsibly, but there is still more work ahead."

"I will continue to support this critical project and work closely with the department to make sure the cleanup of the Moab site is done in the most expeditious and cost efficient way," added the Utah senator.

Bennett recently toured the area to determine how DOE has used nearly $108 million in federal funding allocated for the project and what progress has been made at the site.

"This has been a long arduous journey that seemed, at times, as if it would never end," pointed out Hatch. "The job of moving this massive mountain of mill tailings off of the banks of the Colorado is not finished. But this day, taken as part of the overall history of this place, represents us all having entered into the home stretch."

In 2005, the federal energy agency's record of decision selected rail transportation as the preferred method for removing the mill tailings pile, indicated the senators. The rail line expands approximately 30 miles from Moab to Crescent Junction.

The project involves a former uranium milling facility located on the west bank of the Colorado River.

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