The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) has issued what it is calling a "final, corrected, original radioactive materials license" for the Piñon Ridge Uranium Mill in western Montrose County, Colo. The mill will be the country's first new conventional uranium mill in more than 25 years.
The CDPHE gave initial approval of the Piñon Ridge mill in January over the objections of local environmentalists. Hilary White, executive director of and environmental group called the Sheep Mountain Alliance, said at the time that the CDPHE "did not take into consideration hundreds of pages of documents of comments submitted by scientific and technical experts expressing concerns about the mills' impacts."
After the January ruling, the company applying for the permit--Energy Fuels Corp.--had 60 days to request a formal hearing on the rules laid out by the state. The company did not make a request.
In February, the Sheep Mountain Alliance filed suit against the CDPHE, claiming that the department failed to comply with the Atomic Energy Act by failing to allow adequate public questioning before issuing the permit.
A district judge has not yet responded to the health department's request to drop the suit.
WATCH A NEW YORK TIMES VIDEO FROM DECEMBER PROFILING THE DEBATE OVER PINON RIDGE:
READ THE COLORADO DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENT'S PRESS RELEASE:030711