TELLURIDE – Have questions about uranium and what it could mean to the region if a plan by Energy Fuels Resources Corporation to build the Piñon Ridge Mill – potentially the nation’s first uranium mill in nearly 30 years –– in nearby Paradox Valley becomes reality?
Sheep Mountain Alliance and the Paradox Valley Sustainability Association will have some answers this Friday as they co-host a symposium entitled “Holding Uranium Up to the Light” at the Sheridan Opera House from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
“We want to get people much more educated and aware of the facts around the potential impacts of what we’re addressing,” said SMA Executive Director Hilary White.
“We’ll be dispelling some of the myths out there about uranium; there are a lot of rumors that are spread because of fear,” she continued.
The first hour of the program will feature several guest speakers including Southwest Research and Information Center research director Paul Robinson, who will discuss the economics of the uranium industry and how material extracted from the Uravan Mineral Belt fits into the larger picture.
Curecanti Medical Society president Christine Gieszl, MD, will discuss the potential heath impacts to the region from the mill.
Attorney Travis Stills of the Durango-based Energy Minerals Law Center, who is representing SMA in a lawsuit the organization recently filed against the Montrose County Commissioners and the County Planning and Building Director for their roles leading up to and in approving a special use permit for the Piñon Ridge Mill, will discuss the regulatory framework surrounding the proposal.
Additionally, he will talk about what the public may anticipate during the review process as the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment considers radioactive materials license application for the mill recently submitted to it by Energy Fuels.
“We don’t plan at this point to get into any of the specific detail of the application itself because we’re still looking at it,” said White, referring to the Energy Fuels application with the state agency.
Two short films will be screened and a discussion period will take place during the second hour of the symposium.
“Our intent is to educate the community on the facts surrounding the past and future uranium development in the region, address the actual need for uranium, let people know what is happening with our campaign and how they can get involved.
“There is a growing organized effort to address the many aspects of this and hopefully prevent the development of the Piñon Ridge Mill,” White said.
“Holding Uranium Up to the Light” takes place at the Sheridan Opera House on Friday, Dec. 11 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public. Donations are welcome.