Most of the four-and-a-half hour meeting concerned minute details of the wording of the final application with considerable discussion and comments from the audience.
This was the third and final hearing on the special use permit application by Energy Fuels Inc. Between 200 and 300 people attended the first two meetings, held in Nucla on May 19 and in Montrose on June 10. At both those meetings, the most vocal members of the public to speak seemed to support the application on the grounds that it would create jobs on the county’s West End. Many were from old mining families that remembered the “boom” times of uranium mining in the area.
None of those folks seemed to be present at Monday night’s meeting, but about a dozen people, some repeatedly, addressed the commission with objections to the mill as each of 15 sections of the application that had been revised or updated by county staff was discussed.
Placerville resident and actress Daryl Hannah went to the podium twice to address the commission, and during a break, said building a uranium mill was “crazy.”
“I can’t understand why anyone would want radioactivity within this region,” she said. “It causes all kinds of cancer, ovarian and testicular, and the list goes on and on. Check with doctors and scientists. It’s not a mystery.”
About 50 people were at the meeting when it began, but only about half were still there when it adjourned at 10:30 p.m.
County planner Steve White said county commissioners will probably consider the permit application in late July or August.