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Piñon Ridge Uranium Mill


SIGN THE PETITION asking Governor John Hickenlooper to revoke Energy Fuels' permit issued by the Health Department.


The U.S. Dept of Energy announced its plan to do a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement on its Uranium Leasing Program in Colorado and Utah. DOE will accept your comments at a series of public meetings in early August, or through its website until Sept 9, 2011.  

Western Colorado bears the scars of previous activities, but the DOE could offer over 30 new leases in Montrose, Mesa and San Miguel Counties.  WCC welcomes and supports the proposed scientific analyses and encourage caution over any future uranium leasing and subsequent development.  Colorado has learned the hard way that uranium mining and milling brings costs to the environment and near by communities. 

You can register online to speak at one of the following hearings [all hearing are from 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm]:

  • Monday, Aug 8 at the Montrose Pavilion
  • Tuesday, Aug 9 at Telluride's Sheridan Opera House
  • Wed, Aug 10 at the Naturita Community Building
  • Thurs, Aug 11 at San Juan County Courthouse in Monticello, Utah

Recent Updates

On January 5, 2011, the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environnment (CDPHE) approved a permit application for Energy Fuels, a Canadian corporation, to build the proposed Piñon Ridge Uranium Mill in the Paradox Valley. On February 4, Sheep Mountain Alliance filed a lawsuit which alleges that during their review, regulators violated the Atomic Energy Act by not allowing the public to ask them or Energy Fuels Inc., the company behind the Piñon Ridge Uranium Mill, technical questions about the project.

Montrose County's approval of the same proposal came in September 2009 with 19 conditions attached. If built, Piñon Ridge would be the first uranium processing mill built in the US in 25 years.

So, will the mill be built? Not necessarily. A number of other permits must be obtained and they must meet the conditions of Montrose County and other permts. Your opinion still matters as a means of enlightening these decision-makers to come. The New Yorker and New York Times have carried articles about the mill -- add your voice to the debate with a letter-to-the-editor in your local paper!

We believe that this proposed uranium mill will negatively impact the public health and safety, as well as the environment and long-term economic stability. Your opinion still matters -- keep those letters-to-the-editor coming!


Energy Fuels, Inc, proposes to build a uranium mill on 800 acres in the Paradox Valley east of Bedrock in Montrose County. According to Energy Fuels' website, "Energy Fuels is actively consolidating uranium mining in the Uravan Mineral Belt of western Colorado and eastern Utah. Through the development of its Piñon Ridge Mill, Energy Fuels is facilitating the opening of both developed and new mines and will return this region to its former position of prominence as a source of uranium to fuel the US nuclear power industry."

The milling of uranium ore creates a refined material called "yellowcake" through a chemical process that results in complex wastes that are toxic as well as radioactive. The proposed mill in Paradox Valley would be the first constructed in the US in three decades.

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Other Resources

  • Colorado Dept of Public Health & the Environment [CDPHE] website for Energy Fuels' licensing process.
  • Montrose County's site on Energy Fuel's Special Use Permit.
  • Uranium Processing Accountability Act [2010 Colorado House Bill 1348] fact sheet from Colorado Environmental Council. Passed through the House and Senate; awaiting Gov. Ritter's signature as of 5/13/10.
  • Uranium Watch works to educate and advocate for protection of public health and the environment from past, current, and future impacts of uranium mining, uranium milling, nuclear waste disposal at uranium mill sites, and other impacts of the nuclear fuel cycle.
  • Colorado Citizens Against Toxic Waste is a local, grassroots organization that formed after the Cotter Corporation’s uranium mill announced plans to import radioactive/toxic waste.

For more information, contact WCC organizer Frank Smith in Grand Junction at (970) 256-7650.


Western Colorado Congress is an alliance for community action empowering people
to protect and enhance their quality of life in western Colorado.

PO Box 1931, Grand Junction, CO 81502; phone (970) 256-7650; fax (970) 245-0686

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