DENVER
02/08/2011 06:31 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Sheep Mountain Alliance Files Suit To Stop Development Of Uranium Mill On Western Slope

An environmentalist organization has filed suit to prevent the development of a uranium mill on Colorado's Western Slope.

On January 5, the Colorado Department of Health and Environment approved a a radioactive materials license for a proposed uranium mill at Pinon Ridge in Montrose County, Colorado. The mill, the merits of which have been hotly debated by locals, would be the country's first new conventional uranium mill in more than 25 years.

The Sheep Mountain Alliance filed suit in Denver District Court on February 4 alleging that regulators never allowed the public to ask questions of Energy Fuels Inc., the company behind the proposed Pinon Ridge Uranium Mill. The group says this is a violation of the federal Atomic Energy Act.

"Sheep Mountain Alliance exhausted all remedies before we decided to file this lawsuit," Linda Miller, a member of Sheep Mountain Alliance's board of directors, said in a statement on Tuesday. "We participated in the approval process but our concerns were not addressed. We're disappointed that the state did not issue a decision that would have protected the public interest and we must now rely on the district court to uphold the law."

The Health Department says it does no comment on pending litigation.

WATCH A NEW YORK TIMES FEATURE ON THE PINON RIDGE MILL: