Thursday, June 19, 2008

Comment on the Whirlwind Uranium Mine in Gateway, CO.

Comment on the Whirlwind Uranium Mine in Gateway, CO.

The Environmental Assessment for the Whirlwind Uranium Mine has been released by the BLM - Grand Junction Field Office. You can view the document online at:

Sorry for the short notice, but comments are due FRIDAY, JUNE 20.

This is your chance to get involved and comment on the proposed uranium mine in the Gateway area. The proposed mine could have significant impacts on human health, wildlife, recreation opportunities, and water quality. The current environmental assessment, or EA, does not adequately analyze the real world on the ground impacts from a regional resurgence of uranium mining and milling. A few of the concerns include:

Uranium dust from mine sites has been sited as one of the largest human health concerns related to uranium mining. The EA must go to greater lengths in describing how radioparticulates will be controlled.

The significant increase in truck traffic on John Brown Road will not only effect the quiet nature of this recreation area, there will also contribute to degredated water quality along Colorado rivers and streams. The alternative routes for transporting the ore as mentioned in the EA are not identified, or assessed for safety and other concerns.

The EA does not consider the cumulative effects this mine in conjunction with other uranium mills and mines will have on roads, safety, human health, air quality, and water quality. Stockpiles of uranium ore, both current and future, should be secure and maintained, which is not address in the EA. With 32 permitted and active uranium projects in Colorado, we must insure that knowledge and wisdom from the past regarding uranium activities be applied to present developments.

Comments specific to the BLM?s EA may be submitted electronically to, or by mail to BLM Whirlwind Mine EA, 2815 H Road, Grand Junction, CO 81506. To facilitate a successful planning effort, BLM requests that you make comments as specific as possible and include suggested changes, sources, methodologies, and reference to a section or page number.

Terry Shepherd
Executive Director
Red Rock Forests
90 W. Center St.
Moab, UT 84532

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Date: Wed, 18 Jun 2008 08:51:41 -0400 (EDT)
From: Sarah Fields
Subject: [SUEL] Proposed Whirlwind Mine Routes through Grand County

To All:

To view the Whirlwind Mine Plan of Operation and the Preliminary Environmental Assessment:

Of importance are the transportation routes shown in Map M-2. Three alternative routes go through the La Sal Mountains. Route B connects with the La Sal Mt. Loop Road, dropping down through Castle Valley. Route D takes the other end of the La Sal Mt. Loop Road into Spanish Valley. Route C goes south through National and State Forest lands, connecting to Rt. 46, east of La Sal. The map and the information in the Plan of Operations do not give clear information about where the ore would go after reaching state roads. Initially, the ore would go to the White Mesa Mill.

The Plan of Operation contains information about the alternative transportation routes on pages 67-69. The Plan of Operation includes a letter Mesa County Regional Transportation Planning regarding a Level I Traffic Study. The letter states that "three secondary routes via Grand County, Utah, roads to Utah highways may also be used, especially in the summer when weather conditions are more favorable."

The Plan does not contain similar letters to Grand County, the Manti La Sal National Forest Service, San Juan County, or the State of Utah.

Sarah Fields
Uranium Watch

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