‘These wastes will be here forever’
‘We see clear signs of leakage’
An increase in heavy metals and acidity in wells and springs near the mill is a concern, said Colin Larrick, a water quality specialist with the tribe.
“We see clear signs of leakage, and feel it is urgent that the state take action to prevent a catastrophe,” he said.
A geological survey between 2008 and 2010 showed high levels of heavy metals and uranium in nearby Entrance Spring and higher acidity and heavy metals in monitoring wells.
‘A band-aid on a gushing wound’
Tribe officials are pushing for more reclamation while the plant continues to operate.
Based on the mill’s reclamation plan, it is estimated that cleanup would cost more than $100 million, Ute officials said, but the mill is only bonded for $22 million.