Ground Water Discharge Permit Public Hearing for Homestake Uranium Mining Company on Tuesday, April 29th in Grants
Runs 4/18/14 through 4/25/14
(THEME UP AND UNDER) This is the CCNS News Update, an overview of the latest nuclear safety issues, brought to you every week by Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety. Here is this week’s top headline:
* Ground Water Discharge Permit Public Hearing for Homestake Uranium Mining Company on Tuesday, April 29th in Grants
The Multicultural Alliance for a Safe Environment (MASE) and its member groups will oppose a New Mexico Environment Department draft ground water discharge permit that would allow the Homestake Mining Company to discharge up to 5,500 gallons per minute of polluted water to the clean drinking water sources used by the residents of the Bluewater and Milan villages and the city of Grants at an upcoming public hearing. http://www.nmenv.state.nm.us/Common/pub_notice.htm MASE invites you to attend the hearing, scheduled to begin on Tuesday, April 29th at 9 am at the Cibola County Government Building, located at 515 West High Street, in Grants, New Mexico. A public comment period begins at 5 pm.
Nitrates, selenium, uranium, radium, chloride, sulfate, dissolved solids, and molybdenum have been found in the ground water. The pollutants are seeping from one of the world’s largest uranium mill tailings pile located in the Bluewater and Milan village area, which is a Superfund cleanup site. The tailings were created when Homestake extracted high-grade uranium from the mined soils through the milling process. Rain and snow moves through the pile to the ground water below, carrying the pollutants with it.
MASE states that the permit is flawed because it does not ensure protection of the public’s health or future water supplies. Because pre-uranium development “background” values were never established, the Environment Department is allowing an “acceptable” level of pollution in the four regional aquifers in the San Mateo Creek watershed, located west of Mt. Taylor. As a result, Homestake, which is now owned by the Barrick Gold Corporation, would not be required to cleanup the groundwater it polluted during 30 years of uranium mill operations.
Susan Gordon, Coordinator for MASE, said, “Our goal is to have more than 60 people attend the public comment section of the hearing. MASE wants to put the New Mexico Environment Department and all mining companies on notice that the people of New Mexico are not going to let them walk away from their legal obligations to cleanup the uranium tailings left from previous mining. We must demand that the Environment Department use their regulatory power to ensure that the environmental legacy is cleaned up to pre-uranium development background levels before any new uranium mines can be considered.”
MASE is producing fact sheets and talking points for your use and they will be available at http://masecoalition.org/. Written comments may be submitted to the Hearing Officer prior to and during the hearing. Her contact information is: NMED Hearing Clerk, Sally Worthington, Room S2103, 1190 St. Francis Drive, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87502, telephone (505) 827-2002, fax (505) 827-2836, firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, please contact Susan Gordon, Coordinator for MASE, at email@example.com or (505) 577-8438, or read the article in this month’s Green Fire Times to learn more. http://greenfiretimes.com/ – go to page 16 (after looking at the beautiful cover photograph).
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