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Ranches, Farms, Tourism
Radioactive Waste Dump?

WHO WE ARE:  Paradox Valley Sustainability Association (PVSA) is a non-profit organization of local citizens concerned about the future of the Paradox Valley, a peaceful agricultural and ranching community.  In accord with the nature of the Valley, Montrose County zoned our land for agriculture.  Recently, a Canadian company (Energy Fuels) has applied for a Special Use Permit to place a uranium mill in the Paradox Valley.  Many landowners and residents are against this proposal.  The proposed uranium mill is a direct threat to the health, safety, economy, and welfare of the citizens of Paradox, Montrose County, and surrounding areas.  PVSA has outlined some key issues of concern, along with suggestions of what you can do.

WHAT YOU CAN DO and WHY:   Montrose County Commissioners are holding a public meeting to consider the Special Use Permit:

Aug 13th, 2009, 5:30 pm, Nucla, CO
Nucla High School Gymnasium
(Arrive early � Sign up to speak at 5:00 pm)

If approved, this will result in a permanent radioactive hazardous waste site in Montrose County.  Hazardous waste will sit directly over a major fault zone just miles from the San Miguel and Dolores Rivers, and will remain radioactive for thousands of years.  All uranium mills in the US have left a legacy of contamination.  Operating uranium mills contaminate groundwater and emit hundreds of tons of pollutants into the air each year.  These pollutants contain, among other things, radionuclides – radioactive particles that are recognized to be cancer causing agents.

Use this opportunity to make your opinion count, and have your voice heard.  Urge our Commissioners to deny the Special Use Permit, or at least postpone their decision until all necessary information is provided.  Prepare your written statement against approval of the Special Use Permit and send it to the County Commissioners and the County Planning and Development Director at:

Mail to:  Montrose County Commissioners, 101 South Townsend Ave, Montrose, CO 81401

David White, District 3
Phone:  970-240-3106

Gary Ellis,District 2
Phone:  970-596-1999

Ron Henderson,District 1
Phone:  970-249-4462

County Planning Director: Steve White
161 S. Townsend Ave, Montrose, CO 81401
Phone:  970-252-4550

Or better yet, attend the public meeting on August 13th.   Sign up to speak starting at 5:00 pm and hand your written statement (4 copies) to the Commissioners.  Arrive by 4:00 pm to meet with other citizens asking our Commissioners to deny the Special Use Permit.

Let your opinion be known by writing Letters to Editors.  Below are key issues of concern discovered though our research.


1.  Montrose County Zoning Resolutions protect Agricultural Zones:

– Industrial uses are not allowed.
– Hazardous waste is not allowed.

2.  Energy Fuel�s Special Use Application is incomplete and changing:

– Energy Fuels first said they were going to only process raw ore, but then said they wanted to process alternative feeds (radioactive waste).  This could open the door to the Paradox Valley becoming a national nuclear waste dump.
– Until Energy Fuels goes through the licensing process with the State of Colorado, the County Commissioners will not really know their plan, or what they are voting on.

3.  The State of Colorado application should be submitted before the County decides:

– The county must know the full truth about Energy Fuel’s plans, and what the State will or will not allow in the Valley before making a decision.
– The state licensing process requires Environmental Impact and Socioeconomic studies.  The County Commissioners will then receive up to $50,000 from Energy Fuels to evaluate the studies or do studies of their own.

4.  The County Commissioners should use the $50,000 to evaluate impacts of the mill:

– They should not make a decision first and then find out what the impacts of that decision are later, when it is too late to fix.

5.  Economic and financial trends do not support this project:

– The Montrose County Special Use Permit review criteria require that the Applicant show the financial ability to carry out the project.
– Energy Fuels does not have the money to build the mill.  They are gambling with our future and assets.  What corners will they cut to build this mill?
– There is enough enriched uranium already stockpiled in the US to serve our needs for the next 25 years.
– Will Yellowcake produced in the Paradox Valley go to foreign countries, leaving us with the damage and mess?

6.  There will be permanent detrimental effects:

– Contamination of air, soil and water will occur.
– Permanent tailings disposal pits will remain radioactive for thousands of years.
– The stigma of a uranium mill will negatively affect agriculture and ranching, and lower property values.
– A uranium mill in the middle of an agricultural valley will change the nature of the entire area forever.  It will affect wildlife, agribusiness, tourism, property values, and remain  a threat for thousands of years.

PVSA, PO Box 451, Paradox Co 81429