A United States Department of Energy decision has effectively silenced the Moab uranium mill tailings controversy in Carbon County.
On April 15, DOE's Grand Junction office in Colorado announced the federal agency's decision to eliminate the ECDC landfill as an alternative off-site disposal location for the Moab mill tails.
In addition, the office confirmed DOE had declined to add another location for evaluation in the draft environmental statement the agency plans to prepare on remediation of the Moab uranium mill tailings site in Grand County.
ECDC Environmental representatives have indicated that disposal of the uranium mill tailings would be inconsistent with the company's business plan, explained the federal agency.
The company has also determined the landfill would better serve customers by removing ECDC from consideration as an alternative mill tailings disposal site.
In accordance with national environmental policy act regulations, DOE concluded that ECDC does not represent a reasonable alternative and eliminated the East Carbon landfill from the draft environmental impact statement.
During the public scoping period, the federal agency received a proposal to include the existing tailings disposal cell in Green River for consideration as an off-site alternative for the Moab project, pointed out the federal agency.
During the public scoping period, DOE also received a proposal to include a tailings disposal cell in Green River for consideration as an off-site alternative.
DOE reviewed the relocation proposal and determined that the Green River cell lacked the advantages provided by other off-site alternatives being considered by the federal agency.
DOE concluded that the Green River proposal did not represent a reasonable alternative.
Therefore, the federal agency will not expand the scope of alternatives assessed in the draft environmental impact statement to include this proposal.
One alternative DOE plans to assess in the draft environmental impact statement involves disposing of the mill tailings at the existing Moab site, confirmed the federal agency. The remaining alternatives scheduled to undergo in-depth evaluation during the EIS process include off-site disposal at the Klondike, Crescent Junction and White Mesa Mill locations in Utah.
As a result of the April 15 decisions, DOE will not establish public reading rooms in East Carbon or Green River.
The federal agency will not conduct information meetings or hearings at the two locations during the preparation of the draft environmental impact statement.
Carbon County residents wishing to be removed from the federal agency's draft environmental impact statement mailing list should contact Moab project manager Joel Berwick at the U.S. Department of Energy Office, 2597 B 3/4 Road, Grand Junction, CO 84503.
Citizens may submit comments on DOE's reduction in the mill tailing disposal alternatives to the Moab project manager, concluded the federal agency.