WASHINGTON, DC - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today issued its final environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Moab Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project Site, located on the bank of the Colorado River. The EIS details the preferred option of removal of the tailings pile and contaminated materials, along with ground water remediation. The tailings will be moved, predominately by rail, to the proposed Crescent Junction, Utah, site, more than 30 miles from the Colorado River.
"Taking all facts into account, we believe the recommendations issued today provide the best solution to cleaning up Moab and protecting the River," Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman said. "The Colorado River is the life-blood of the Southwest."
In 2001 Congress transferred responsibility for cleanup at Moab to DOE. The Moab Project Site is a former private uranium ore processing facility about three miles northwest of the city of Moab in Grand County, Utah, on the west bank of the Colorado River at the confluence with Moab Wash. The site covers roughly 400 acres and includes a 130-acre uranium mill tailings pile that occupies much of the western portion.
Twelve federal, tribal, state, and local agencies participated with DOE in the development and preparation of the EIS. DOE released a draft EIS in November 2004. During a 90-day public comment period, DOE conducted four public hearings on the draft EIS in Moab, Green River, Blanding, and White Mesa, Utah. In preparing the final EIS, DOE considered all comments it received.
DOE will specify its final decision on which alternatives to implement in a Record of Decision, to be issued no sooner than 30 days after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issues a Notice of Availability of the final EIS in the Federal Register.
Copies of Remediation of the Moab Uranium Mill Tailings, Grand and San Juan Counties, Utah, Final Environmental Impact Statement will be placed in the Moab Project public reading rooms in the Grand County Public Library, Blanding Branch Library, and the White Mesa Ute Administrative Building. A copy will also be available on the Moab Project website at gj.em.doe.gov/moab/, on the DOE website at http://www.eh.doe.gov/nepa/, and in the DOE Public Reading Room in Grand Junction, Colorado. Copies may be requested by contacting DOE toll free at 1-800/637-4575.
Mike Waldron, 202/586-4940
Tom Welch, 202/586-5806