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Decommissioning Projects, USA - UMTRA Title I

(last updated 19 July 2014)

Contents:

Arizona · Colorado · Idaho · New Mexico · North Dakota · Oregon · Pennsylvania · Texas · Utah · Wyoming

Site Index

Ambrosia Lake · Belfield and Bowman · Burrell (PA) · Canonsburg · Durango · Falls City · Grand Junction · Green River · Gunnison · Lakeview · Lowman · Maybell · Mexican Hat · Monticello · Monument Valley · Naturita · Rifle · Riverton · Salt Lake City · Shiprock · Slick Rock · Spook · Tuba City
> See also:

Arizona

Monument Valley · Tuba City

Monument Valley, Arizona

> U.S. DOE Office of Legacy Management: Monument Valley site external link

Aerial view: Google Maps external link new window · MSRMaps external link new window

 

DOE completes pilot study on alternatives to active pumping and treatment for groundwater remediation at Monument Valley uranium mill tailings site

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Legacy Management (LM) has completed a suite of pilot studies designed to evaluate, on a landscape scale, proposed passive and active remedies for ammonium, nitrate, and sulfate in an alluvial aquifer and in a source area at the Monument Valley, Arizona, Processing Site. Pilot studies are trial studies or experiments conducted to evaluate and demonstrate alternative remedies before a final remedial action is selected and implemented. The passive remedies, monitored natural and enhanced phytoremediation and denitrification, were evaluated as alternatives to active pumping and treatment technologies. Land-farm phytoremediation was evaluated as an alternative to conventional active remedies.
> Monitored Natural and Enhanced Attenuation of the Alluvial Aquifer and Subpile Soils at the Monument Valley, Arizona, Processing Site: Final Pilot Study Report, LMS/MON/S07670, U.S. DOE Legacy Management, April 2013: Main text - Appendix B external link · Appendices C - J external link

 

Radiological assessment of stained soils at the Monument Valley, Arizona, uranium mill site finds no elevated risk - if you stay away 99.86% of the time

"Following observation in the field of stained soils, samples were taken at locations that were scanned and indicated elevated gamma readings. The area was marked-off as radiologically contaminated pending analysis results as a conservative protective measure. The area in question was a former evaporation pond during processing and it was deemed clean during the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRCA) surface program. Sample analysis indicated that the area is elevated in uranium but not in radium, and therefore is still within regulatory standards for soil cleanup at UTMRCA sites."
The risk analysis performed showed that the dose estimates are well below NRC's 25 mrem/year [0.25 mSv/a] site decommissioning criterion. These dose estimates, however, are based on an annual exposure time of just 12 hours per year - as assumed appropriate for the workers currently surveying the site.

> Download Radiological Assessment of Stained Soils at the Monument Valley Processing Site external link, June 2010, U.S. Department of Energy, Legacy Management

 

U.S. DOE releases Final Environmental Assessment and FONSI Documents for Groundwater Restoration at Monument Valley, Arizona, Uranium Mill Tailings Site

The U.S. Department of Energy Office of Legacy Management (DOE-LM) announces the availability of the final Environmental Assessment of Ground Water Compliance at the Monument Valley, Arizona, Uranium Mill Tailings Site and the Finding of No Significant Impact documents for the site.

> Download DOE LM release April 11, 2005 external link (PDF)
> Download Environmental Assessment of Ground Water Compliance at the Monument Valley, Arizona, Uranium Mill Tailings Site, Final, DOE/EA-1313, March 2005 external link (2.2MB PDF)

 

U.S. DOE issues Draft Environmental Assessment Document for Groundwater Restoration at Monument Valley, Arizona, Uranium Mill Tailings Site for Public Comment

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Legacy Management in conjunction with the Navajo Uranium Mill Tailing Remedial Action Program announces the availability of the draft Environmental Assessment of Ground Water Compliance at the Monument Valley, Arizona, Uranium Mill Tailings Site.
The proposed compliance strategies are mostly based on natural flushing and passive remediation through phytoremediation.

> Download DOE release Nov. 10, 2004 external link (PDF)
> Download DOE release Dec. 8, 2004 external link (PDF)
> Download Draft Environmental Assessment of Ground Water Compliance at the Monument Valley, Arizona, Uranium Mill Tailings Site, DOE/EA-1313, Nov. 2004 external link (1.54MB PDF - Navajo AML)

 

Environmental Assessment of Groundwater Cleanup Available for Review

"The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Grand Junction Office (GJO) announces the availability of the Draft Environmental Assessment of the Ground Water Compliance Activities at the Monument Valley Mill Tailings Site.

This Environmental Assessment analyzes the potential environmental impacts for the proposed action, which is to conduct active remediation using a pump-and-treat methodology coupled with phytoremediation (using plants to clean up the contaminant). Groundwater would be extracted and fed into a distillation system. The treated groundwater would then be re-injected into the aquifer. DOE determined this compliance strategy as appropriate for the contamination that exists in the groundwater as a result of the milling operations at the former Monument Valley mill tailings site."
Any public comments on the Environmental Assessment should be submitted no later than November 15, 1999.
> View DOE GJO release (Oct. 25, 1999) external link

> View Monument Valley general site info · DOE-GJO groundwater info external link


Tuba City, Arizona

NRC Docket No. WM-00073

> U.S. DOE Office of Legacy Management: Tuba City site external link

Aerial view: Google Maps external link new window · MSRMaps external link new window

 

Significant decreases in contaminant concentrations are "not apparent" with groundwater remediation at Tuba City uranium mill tailings site

"Although measureable progress is indicated by cumulative contaminant mass removed from the aquifer, significant and wide spread decreases in contaminant concentrations are not apparent."
(Annual Groundwater Report, April 2011 through March 2012, Tuba City, Arizona, Disposal Site, U.S. DOE, July 2012)

"Consistent with previous annual reporting, after more than 10 years of operation, significant and widespread decreases in contaminant concentrations in groundwater are not apparent. This is despite measureable progress in groundwater treatment, as indicated by the cumulative volume of contaminated groundwater and the cumulative mass of contaminant extracted from the aquifer to date."
(Annual Groundwater Report, April 2012 Through March 2013, Tuba City, Arizona, Disposal Site, U.S. DOE, August 2013)

Groundwater remediation at Tuba City uranium mill tailings site suspended after major sulfuric acid spill

The Tuba City, Arizona, Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act (UMTRCA), Title I site, has been shut down temporarily following an incident in which one of the critical unit operations was compromised and will have to be repaired before the site can resume operation. During a routine delivery of concentrated sulfuric acid to the site, there was a minor spill of acid when the storage tank was overfilled, which necessitated the release of a minor amount of fluid to provide headspace in the tank. Operation of the outlet valve caused a minor leak to develop behind the valve, and eventually the entire tank contents were emptied into secondary containment and thence to the evaporation pond. The amount of acid released to the pond was the full tank volume of 3000 gallons [11,356 litres], of 98 percent sulfuric acid.
> Download DOE letter Dec. 8, 2010 external link (PDF - ADAMS Acc. No. ML103500341)

 

Contaminated sites on Navajo land near former Tuba City uranium mill

Remediation of U.S. Highway 160 Site on Navajo land near former Tuba City uranium mill completed
Remediation activities of the U.S. Highway 160 Site were conducted from June through September 2011. The site is located six miles east of Tuba City, Arizona, across U.S. Highway 160 from the former Rare Metals uranium processing mill that was remediated under the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Program.
> Download Highway 160 Project Remediation Completion Report, 28 Dec. 2011 external link (Navajo Nation Environmental Protection Agency)
> Download Independent Verification Report, Oct. 2011 external link (DOE)

Federal Appeals Court rules DOE not responsible for cleanup of contaminated sites on Navajo land near former Tuba City uranium mill
A federal appeals court ruled today (Jan. 28) that the Department of Energy does not have to remediate two sites on Navajo Nation land that are adjacent to an old uranium mine. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia external link ruled against the Navajo Nation and the El Paso Natural Gas Co., the successor company to the mine operator, on technical grounds.
The mill itself, in Tuba City, Ariz., was one of the properties DOE initially agreed to remediate. The Navajo Nation only became aware that the two sites nearby were also contaminated in the early 2000s. In 2003, DOE denied a Navajo request to remediate the sites. In doing so, the government questioned whether the pollution came from the mill. The natural gas company subsequently filed suit in 2007 over concerns it would be left to foot the bill. (New York Times Jan. 28, 2011)
> Download Court opinion: El Paso Natural Gas Company v. USA, No. 10-5080, Jan. 28, 2011 external link, United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (66k PDF)

Concerns about hazards from alleged illegal waste dump near former Tuba City uranium mill
The Navajo Nation claims former mill owner Rare Metals Incorporated allegedly dumped some waste from the mill off the site illegally in the 1960s. And just as with the tailings at the mill, it believes that waste is leaking contaminants into the groundwater below, threatening nearby wells. Bill Walker, a private geologist on the tribe's payroll, says he's linked the waste at the dumps to the mill with the help of some telltale chemicals Rare Metals used in the milling process. He's found the same chemicals in the dumps. He's also found a plume of contaminated water beneath the old landfill, but is still working on linking the two.
El Paso Natural Gas Company, which bought Rare Metals Incorporated, says the Energy Department still bears some responsibility for the mill and its waste. El Paso sued the Energy Department insisting it take responsibility for the dump sites in May 2007. The government has yet to file a formal response. (Gallup Independent Aug. 2, 2007)

 

Environmental Assessment of Ground-Water Cleanup Strategy

The U. S. Department of Energy (DOE) Grand Junction Office (GJO) announces the availability of the Draft Environmental Assessment of Ground-Water Compliance at the Tuba City Uranium Mill Tailings Site near Tuba City, Arizona. The Environmental Assessment identifies the proposed ground-water compliance strategy that will be used at the former uranium-ore processing site near Tuba City.
> View Grand Junction Office press release (Oct 14, 1998) external link

> Download Tuba City Environmental Assessment external link (PDF)

> View Tuba City general site info · DOE GJO groundwater site info external link


Colorado

Durango · Grand Junction · Gunnison · Maybell · Naturita · Rifle · Slick Rock

Durango, Colorado

> U.S. DOE Office of Legacy Management: Durango sites external link

Aerial view (processing site): Google Maps external link new window · MSRMaps external link new window
Aerial view (disposal site - Bodo Canyon): Google Maps external link new window · MSRMaps external link new window

 

Management plan requires re-burying under the roadway of any uranium mill tailings found in ongoing road construction in Durango

Road crews completing the new intersection at Camino del Rio and U.S. Highway 160 are taking special precaution to keep an eye out for uranium tailings left over from a mill that closed in 1963. Though tailings have not been encountered during the continuous-flow intersection project, which is estimated to be finished in mid-August, workers did find uranium tailings in some of the sidewalks while completing another project in 2011 in the same area, said Nancy Shanks, spokeswoman for the Colorado Department of Transportation.
Because of earlier findings near the construction zone, CDOT project specifications required a Materials Management Plan and Health and Safety Plan to address uranium tailings, should they be encountered within the project area, she said. The plans followed the guidelines of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment's uranium mill tailings management plan, Shanks said. In compliance with the health department's management plan, any tailings encountered should be re-buried under the roadway, Shanks said. (Durango Herald July 3, 2014)

DOE still hopeful that natural flushing will prove to be a valid compliance strategy for groundwater contaminants at former Durango uranium processing site

"As of June 2012, the observed rate of contaminant flushing is generally consistent with groundwater model predictions, given that the validation period to date (June 2002 to June 2012) is short compared to predicted flushing periods (60 to 100 years) for the various contaminants.
Only cadmium was identified in the modeling as potentially unlikely to flush to acceptable levels within 100 years. However, at the single location (well 0612) where cadmium is present above the compliance goal of 0.01 mg/L, concentrations have decreased more rapidly than predicted by the model. The linear trend suggests the compliance goal for cadmium will be reached by about 2078.
With the possible exception of sulfate and selenium, modeling predictions and concentration trends imply that the compliance goals for remaining constituents will likely be attained within 100 years, suggesting that natural flushing remains a valid compliance strategy for these constituents as well. The impact on surface water quality from site-related contamination remains negligible."
> Download: Verification Monitoring Report for the Durango, Colorado, Processing Site external link, LMS/DUP/S09347, U.S. Department of Energy - Legacy Management, December 2012 (7.8MB PDF)

Photovoltaic Solar Project at Durango uranium mill tailings site

> View DOE NEPA Environmental Assessment: Durango, Colorado, Disposal Site external link (U.S. DOE Legacy Management)

DOE releases Final Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact on the Photovoltaic Solar Project at Durango uranium mill tailings disposal site:
> Download DOE Notice June 24, 2011 external link (PDF)
> Download Environmental Assessment Photovoltaic Solar Project at the Durango, Colorado, Disposal Site, Final, June 2011, LMS/DUD/S06350, DOE/EA-1770 external link (1.7M PDF)

DOE releases Draft Environmental Assessment on the Photovoltaic Solar Project at Durango uranium mill tailings site:
Under Alternative 1, a PV system would be placed on top of the vegetated surface of the disposal cell. DOE's conceptual configuration of PV panels on top of the disposal cell could generate 4.0 megawatts (MW).
Under Alternative 2, solar arrays would be placed on previously disturbed areas adjacent to the disposal cell in addition to the disposal cell surface. It is expected that a 4.5 MW-capacity system could be installed in these combined areas.
> Download Draft Environmental Assessment: Photovoltaic Solar Project at the Durango, Colorado, Site, DOE/EA 1770, August 2010 (8.3M PDF) external link · alternate source (16.5M PDF image scan, ADAMS Acc. No. ML102310238) external link

 

Rising uranium concentration in monitoring well at disposal site of Durango uranium mill tailings causes concern; groundwater standard miraculously no longer exceeded

The Department of Energy [...] recently released more distressing news in its annual report on the Bodo disposal cell. Groundwater is regularly monitored to determine cell integrity and to check for leakage of wastes from the cell. While the cell appears to be functioning properly, groundwater tests in one of seven monitoring wells indicated rising levels of uranium contamination. Testing in 2009 approached 0.077 milligrams of uranium per liter, the "site-specific standard" for the Bodo Cell.
"For some reason we are seeing an increase in uranium at that test site," said Joe Desormeaux, health and safety manager with the DOE Office of Legacy Management. "However, this is not a point-of-compliance well, and as far as protection of public health goes, we see no danger."
There are several possible culprits for the elevated numbers, according to Desormeaux. The locale's naturally occurring uranium could be leaching into the test well; the well could have crossed a coal seam, which may have spiked the numbers; or the Bodo Canyon Cell could be leaking uranium mill tailings. For Travis Stills, of the Energy Mineral Law Center, the cause of the elevated numbers is beyond doubt. "Those numbers should be at zero," he said. "The fact that there's any reading indicates that the cells are leaking. And the fact that there's been a rising trend in uranium concentrations is frightening." (The Durango Telegraph Feb. 25, 2010)

> Download 2009 Annual Site Inspection and Monitoring Report for Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act Title I Disposal Sites - Durango, Colorado, Disposal Site. LMS/S05884. January 2010 external link (448k PDF)

Although the uranium concentration in the monitoring well showed consecutive increases for several years, the 2009 value miraculously no longer exceeds the site's standard:
"The uranium levels have decreased back below the standard in 2010." (2010 Annual Site Inspection and Monitoring Report for Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act Title I Disposal Sites, January 2011)

Uranium concentration in groundwater monitoring well at Durango uranium mill tailings disposal site exceeds standard up to three-fold: "Uranium concentrations were below the standard until an increase observed during the June 2011 sampling event. Concentrations continued to increase, and the September 2012 results of 0.227 milligram per liter (mg/L) are the highest observed in well 0618. The results for October and November 2012 have decreased, but still remain over the [0.077 mg/L] standard. The potential cause of this increase is being investigated; however, because well 0618 is not a point-of-compliance well, site levels remain in compliance with the LTSP." (2012 Annual Site Inspection and Monitoring Report for Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act Title I Disposal Sites, February 2013)

Uranium concentration in groundwater monitoring well at Durango uranium mill tailings disposal site still exceeds standard twice: "Uranium concentrations in well 0618 have decreased since September 2012, but still have an increasing trend overall." (2013 Annual Site Inspection and Monitoring Report for Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act Title I Disposal Sites, March 2014)

 

NRC approves natural flushing as groundwater compliance strategy for Durango uranium mill tailings site

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) submitted a final Site Observational Work Plan (SOWP) for the referenced site to the U. S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) on January 24, 2002. The DOE submitted a Preliminary Final Ground Water Compliance Action Plan (PFGCAP) to the NRC on August 28, 2003, for the site. It also submitted four Durango Site Verification Monitoring reports, and a Data Validation Package to the NRC.
Based on a review of the reports submitted, the NRC staff concurs with the SOWP and the PFGCAP with conditions.
The proposed ground water and surface water compliance strategy for the mill tailings area is natural flushing with an alternate concentration limit (ACL) for selenium in conjunction with institutional controls and continued monitoring of ground water and surface water.
The proposed ground water and surface water compliance strategy for the raffinate ponds area is no remediation with the application of supplemental standards based on the criterion of limited-use ground water due to widespread selenium contamination, use of institutional controls, and continued monitoring of ground water and surface water as a best management practice.

> Download Technical Evaluation Report Dec. 22, 2008 external link (ADAMS ML080430466)

 

Former Durango uranium mill site becomes dog park

In mid-December 2003, 5 acres [2 ha] of grassy field at the former Durango uranium mill site have been dedicated an off-leash dog park. The site is located on the Animas River at the town's southwestern edge. Tests were performed to ensure that any dogs digging their new surroundings wouldn't uncover its past. The tests show it is safe, at least to a depth of a few feet. (Denver Post Dec. 25, 2003)

 

Final Environmental Assessment Document and FONSI released for Durango, Colorado, UMTRA Ground Water Project Site

The compliance strategy for the mill tailings area is to allow natural flushing of the aquifer to decrease contaminant concentrations.
The compliance strategy for the raffinate ponds area is no further remediation in conjunction with the application of supplemental standards for the ground-water constituents.

> Download DOE GJO release Nov. 14, 2002 external link (160k PDF)
> Download Environmental Assessment of Ground Water Compliance external link (1.2M PDF)
> Download Finding of No Significant Impact Statement external link (0.57M PDF)

 

Draft Environmental Assessment Document for Durango, Colorado, UMTRA Ground Water Project Site Available for Public Comment

The U.S. Department of Energy Grand Junction Office (DOE–GJO) announces the availability of the draft Environmental Assessment of Ground Water Compliance at the Durango, Colorado, UMTRA Project Site. The targeted compliance strategy for the mill tailings area is to allow natural flushing of the aquifer to decrease contaminant concentrations. In conjunction with this strategy, DOE would ensure that in-place institutional controls are maintained and would continue ground water and surface water monitoring.
Any public comments on the draft Environmental Assessment should be made no later than October 16, 2002.

> Download DOE release Sep. 12, 2002 external link (PDF)

> Download Environmental Assessment of Ground Water Compliance at the Durango, Colorado, UMTRA Project Site, Draft, September 2002 external link (1.3M PDF)

> View Durango general site info · DOE-GJO groundwater info external link


Grand Junction, Colorado

> U.S. DOE Office of Legacy Management: Grand Junction sites external link

Aerial view (processing site): Google Maps external link new window · MSRMaps external link new window
Aerial view (disposal site - Cheney disposal cell): Google Maps external link new window · MSRMaps external link new window

 

State continues to clean up uranium mill tailings at vicinity properties in Grand Junction area

Contamination from radioactive mill tailings in the Grand Junction area remain, long after federal funding for clean-up efforts dried up. According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), mill tailings from more than 160 properties were never removed due to owner refusal to participate in the remediation programs which began in the 1970s. Additionally, another 1,500 properties were excluded for various reasons from past clean-up programs.
People new to the community are often unaware of Grand Junction's uranium legacy. Oftentimes, landowners first learn of contamination when they seek a building permit, and a subsequent survey finds mill tailings on the property.
There's still help for those who want to remove tailings from their property, however. Owners are responsible for hauling the mill tailings to the City's locked temporary disposal site on River Road. Later the CDPHE transports the mill tailings to the permanent Department of Energy Grand Junction disposal site near Whitewater.
"We're constantly cleaning up properties," Mike Cosby, Uranium Mill Tailings Remediation Action manager for the Department of Public Health and Environment said. "During heavy construction times we (typically) find two new contaminated properties a week - and that doesn't count the ones we know are contaminated."
Both the CDPHE and the Colorado Real Estate Commission have determined that the presence of mill tailings on a property is a material defect and therefore, must be revealed to potential homebuyers. Many Realtors, however, neglect to do so, Cosby said. (Grand Junction Free Press Aug. 23, 2012)

Exceeding the uranium groundwater standard at disposal site of Grand Junction uranium mill tailings does not alarm DOE

In 2009, the uranium concentration in monitoring well MW-0733 (0.076 mg/L) at the disposal site of the Grand Junction uranium mill tailings showed a marked upward trend for the sixth year in a row, exceeding the applicable Maximum Concentration Limit (MCL) of 0.044 mg/L for the third consecutive year.
DOE, however, maintains: "The elevated uranium in well MW-0733 poses no risk to human health or the environment because the disposal cell is situated on a thick aquiclude overlying "limited use" groundwater that is not for any purpose."

> Download 2009 Annual Site Inspection and Monitoring Report for Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act Title I Disposal Sites - Grand Junction, Colorado, Disposal Site. LMS/S05884. January 2010 external link (432k PDF)

In 2010, uranium concentrations in groundwater in well MW-0733 increased further to 0.11 mg/L and were above the MCL of 0.044 mg/L for the fourth consecutive year, but DOE maintains that the elevated uranium poses "no risk". (2010 Annual Site Inspection and Monitoring Report for Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act Title I Disposal Sites, January 2011)

In 2012, uranium concentrations in groundwater were above the MCL (of 0.044 mg/L) in well 0733. Concentrations in well 0733 remained relatively consistent through 2003, at which time an upward trend began, which leveled off at 0.11 mg/L for the 2010 and 2011 sampling events and increased slightly to 0.13 mg/L in 2012. (2012 Annual Site Inspection and Monitoring Report for Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act Title I Disposal Sites, February 2013)

In 2013, uranium concentrations in groundwater were above the MCL (of 0.044 mg/L) in well 0733. Concentrations in well 0733 increased slightly to 0.14 mg/L in 2013. (2013 Annual Site Inspection and Monitoring Report for Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act Title I Disposal Sites, March 2014)

Uranium mill tailings underneath roadways still pose problem in Grand Junction

FCI Constructors Inc. is dealing with radioactive waste as they dig up Main Street for the Downtown Uplift restoration project. The sand-like mill tailings were widely used in the Grand Valley during the 1950s and 1960s as fill dirt until federal officials halted the practice, citing health risks from exposure to gamma radiation and radon gas. FCI employees have hauled nearly 500 cubic yards of tailings to the temporary storage facility at the city yard along West Avenue, where the material awaits permanent disposal at the Cheney disposal cell, south of Grand Junction.
"There are other tailings that are just as high or higher (in gamma radiation readings)," that are being left in place, said Mike Cosby, Uranium Mill Tailings Remediation Manager for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Construction workers are finding tailings as high as 500 microrems [5 micro-Sievert] per hour, Cosby said. Natural background radiation is as high as 18 microrems [0.18 micro-Sievert] per hour.
State and federal clean-up programs that lasted more than 25 years removed tailings from underneath thousands of homes and in yards across the valley. Tailings underneath roadways however, were typically left in place. Despite state and federal clean-up efforts in western Colorado an estimated one million cubic yards [0.76 million cubic metres] of tailings remain outside of the controlled disposal cells, according to the state health department Web site. The bulk of those tailings are located in the Grand Valley, Cosby said. "The state (health department) would prefer to pull all (the tailings) out right now, but that's not our call," Cosby said. "The city's paying for it." (Grand Junction Free Press Feb. 1, 2010)

Uranium mill tailings at vicinity properties still an issue at Grand Junction

Grand Junction once had the dubious distinction of being known as the "most radioactive town in America." During the 1950s and 1960s, local contractors and homeowners would load trucks of the sandy-like tailings left over from the former Climax uranium mill site near the Colorado River and use it for back fill and for mixing cement. At the time it wasn't widely known, locally anyway, that the waste product was highly radioactive. The tailings were used in foundations of homes, sidewalks, patios, streets, schools and commercial buildings.
State and federal remediation programs removed or mitigated many of the radioactive tailings from 1972 to 1998. It was a voluntary program and some owners refused to allow the government to clean up their property. Out of 8,000 known tailings properties in Mesa County approximately 5,000 were cleaned up, said Paul Oliver last year before he retired from the state health department.
Homes that were cleaned up under the first program, the Grand Junction Remediation Action Program, were not remediated to the same standards of the clean-up that came later, the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Program. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is trying to educate real estate agents and the general public about the issue to reduce the number of people who are surprised to learn after an acquisition, that there are mill tailings on their properties. (Grand Junction Free Press Dec. 4, 2009)

Uranium mill tailings materials removed during road construction in Grand Junction

The city has hauled 1,200 to 1,300 cubic yards of radioactive mill tailings out of Colorado Avenue since March 26, 2008. And there's more to go. Old mill tailings are being dug up as the city installs a new storm drainage system and constructs a new road and sidewalks on Colorado Avenue. From 1951 to 1966, individuals and contractors hauled uranium mill tailings away from Grand Junction's Climax uranium mill to use as backfill in various construction projects. The city had a policy to bed new utility lines with mill tailings, said Paul Oliver, environmental protection specialist at the state health department. "Mill tailings are very fine grain, there are no sharp edges and it was free," Oliver said. "People didn’t know back then the dangers of radon." (Grand Junction Free Press May 14, 2008)

Critique of Institutional Controls for Cleanup of Vicinity Properties

The Environmental Law Institute external link has issued a research report on the effectiveness of institutional controls as a means to control hazards from contamination of vicinity properties with uranium mill tailings.
Excerpt from executive summary:
"The voluntary nature of the UMTRA program has resulted in anomalous gaps in the protection against future risks provided by institutional controls. The database of vicinity properties prepared by DOE contains substantial information about any tailings left in place at sites cleaned up under the program. It contains no information, however, about tailings at properties whose owners refused to be evaluated or cleaned up under the program. This means that there will be no records to show where the potentially highest risks are located, while properties where no risk remains, because all tailings were removed, will be extensively documented."

Institutional Controls Case Study: Grand Junction external link, Environmental Law Institute, Washington, DC, 1999 37 p.

No groundwater cleanup for Climax Uranium Millsite

"The U.S.Department of Energy (DOE) Grand Junction Office (GJO) announces the availability of the Environmental Assessment of the Ground Water Compliance Activities at the Grand Junction UMTRA Project Site (Climax Uranium Millsite).

This Environmental Assessment analyzes the potential environmental impacts for the proposed action of no remediation and application of supplemental standards. DOE determined this compliance strategy as appropriate for the residual contamination that exists in the groundwater as a result of the milling operations at the former Climax Uranium Millsite in Grand Junction, Colorado. This determination is based on site and regional conditions revealing that shallow groundwater is naturally poor quality and not fit for potable use. The DOE Finding of No Significant Impact documents that no significant environmental impacts will occur from the chosen groundwater cleanup strategy and that there will be no need for an Environmental Impact Statement." (emphasis added)
> View DOE GJO release (Oct 25, 1999) external link
> Download Environmental Assessment external link of Ground Water Compliance at the Grand Junction UMTRA Project Site (Climax Uranium Millsite), Sept. 1999 (PDF)
> Download Finding of No Significant Impact external link - Ground Water Compliance at the Grand Junction UMTRA Project Site (Climax Uranium Millsite), Sept. 1999 (PDF)

> View Grand Junction general site info · DOE GJO groundwater site info external link


Gunnison, Colorado

> U.S. DOE Office of Legacy Management: Gunnison sites external link

Aerial view (processing site): Google Maps external link new window · MSRMaps external link new window
Aerial view (disposal site): Google Maps external link new window · MSRMaps external link new window

 

Uranium in groundwater of former Gunnison mill site continues to exceed standard more than tenfold; compliance strategy by natural flushing "may need to be revised"

"Concentrations of uranium in the alluvial groundwater beneath the former mill site are above the MCL. The uranium concentration in monitoring well 0006, which completed in the shallow zone, remains high but has a downward trend. Highly variable uranium concentrations in this well indicate that residual soil contamination has a localized effect. Construction activities on the former mill site may be mobilizing uranium in soils and contributing to elevated concentrations in groundwater. If concentrations continue to remain high, the 99 year natural flushing time predicted by groundwater modeling and compliance with the 100 year regulatory time-frame for natural flushing at monitoring well 0006 may be unlikely. Accordingly, the compliance strategy for this site may need to be revised."
> Download 2011 Verification Monitoring Report for the Gunnison, Colorado, Processing Site external link, LMS/GUP/S08005, U.S. Department of Energy Legacy Management, December 2011 (1.6MB PDF)

Final Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact Documents Available for UMTRA Ground Water Project Site at Gunnison, Colorado

The Environmental Assessment states that DOE plans a passive ground-water remediation strategy through natural flushing coupled with institutional controls and continued monitoring to meet U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ground-water standards.

> Download DOE release Aug. 21, 2002 (PDF) external link

> Download Environmental Assessment (1.2M PDF) external link · FONSI (240k PDF) external link

> View Gunnison general site info · DOE–GJO groundwater info external link.


Maybell (Umetco), Moffat County, Colorado

> For the Maybell West Title II uranium mill tailings site, see here

> U.S. DOE Office of Legacy Management: Maybell site external link

Aerial View: Google Maps external link new window · MSRMaps external link new window

 

BLM issues Public Land Order for Maybell tailings disposal site (where claim stakes were found...)

On March 27, 2008, the Bureau of Land Management issued an order permanently transfering 160 acres of public land to the Department of Energy for its Maybell West Uranium Repository, in accordance with the terms of the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act of 1978 (Public Law 95-604), as amended. However: "The Secretary of the Interior shall retain the authority to administer any existing claims, rights, and interests in this land that were established before the effective date of the transfer."
Federal Register: April 18, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 76) p. 21152 (download full text external link)

Claim stakes found on Maybell tailings disposal site

"Three claim stakes were found inside the perimeter fence several hundred feet west and southwest of the disposal cell. BLM confirmed that they are uranium exploration claims staked by Western Fuels Incorporated (PL-4). BLM also confirmed that all BLM property withdrawn and transferred to DOE for the disposal site includes subsurface rights. Two private parcels of land purchased in fee simple by the State of Colorado and acquired by DOE for the site are currently being researched to determine if subsurface rights were included with the transfer."
(2006 Annual Site Inspection and Monitoring Report for Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act Title I Disposal Sites, December 2006, U.S. DOE, Office of Legacy Management)

"In 2008, an additional claim stake was found at the base of the northeast corner of the disposal cell."
(2008 Annual Site Inspection and Monitoring Report for Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act Title I Disposal Sites, January 2009, U.S. DOE, Office of Legacy Management)

In 2009, "Another mining claim stake was found on site, on top of the disposal cell. This claim, like the ones discovered previously, is considered a "nuisance claim" since protection of the disposal cell is provided through the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) general license."
(2009 Annual Site Inspection and Monitoring Report for Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act Title I Disposal Sites, U.S. DOE, Office of Legacy Management, 2010 - emphasis added)
Now, that a claim stake was found on top of the disposal cell, one might wonder whether DOE is correct in assuming that Western Fuels intends to mine the ground underneath the pile: possibly, they rather plan to reprocess the tailings pile itself for residual uranium? Given the amount of 1.76 million short tons of ore processed, the ore grade of 0.13% U3O8, and the recovery rate of 88%, the tailings still contain 0.0156% U3O8 (0.0132% U) - corresponding to grades of low grade ores as now being proposed for mining in Namibia, for example; the total uranium contents of the tailings pile amounts to just 211 t U, however...

Legitimacy still unclear of claim stakes found on Maybell uranium mill tailings site

"No new mineral claim stakes were found on site in 2010, and DOE has not been contacted in regard to the previous uranium exploration claims found on site in 2006, 2008, and 2009 (that were staked by Western Fuels Incorporated). These claims are considered ''nuisance Claims,'' as protections provided under the NRC general license preclude any mining activity that would jeopardize the integrity of the disposal cell. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has indicated that all federal land withdrawn by DOE for the disposal site included the subsurface mineral rights. However, it is unknown whether senior rights existed on the federal lands withdrawn or if the two private parcels of land purchased in fee simple by the State of Colorado and transferred to DOE as part of the site included the subsurface mineral rights."
(2010 Annual Site Inspection and Monitoring Report for Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act Title I Disposal Sites, U.S. DOE, Office of Legacy Management, January 2011 - emphasis added)

And again: claim stakes found on Maybell tailings disposal site in 2011

"New lode mining claim locator stakes were found on site, including on the disposal cell. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) notified the claimant that those stakes located on the withdrawn portion of the site were placed in error. Title information indicates that the complete mineral estates were not acquired for the two private parcels that make up the balance of the site. However, protection of the disposal system from third-party surface and subsurface activities is provided under the general license."
(2011 Annual Inspection and Monitoring Report for Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act Title I Disposal Sites, U.S. DOE, Office of Legacy Management, January 2012)

And again: lode mining claim locator stakes found on Maybell tailings disposal site in 2012

"In 2006, lode mining claim locator stakes were first discovered onsite inside the perimeter fence. Additional locator stakes were found onsite in the years following, including several on top of the disposal cell in 2011. Two more were found onsite in 2012. Upon contact, BLM confirmed these to be locator stakes and not actual claim stakes, and indicated they were a precursor to a possible claim being filed and that increased uranium exploration is occurring in the area. The ''Notice of Location'' form on one of the stakes indicated Oregon Energy LLC external link as the locator. BLM said Western Fuels Incorporated had also placed some of the stakes. If claims were to be filed, they would be considered nuisance claims, as protections pursuant to the NRC general license for the disposal site appear to preclude any surface or subsurface activity that would jeopardize the disposal cell and its associated drainage control structures. Research would be needed to determine if valid subsurface mineral rights that predate BLM's site withdrawal exist. Additional research would be needed to determine whether the subsurface mineral rights were included with the two private parcels of land on the west and south sides of the site that were purchased in fee simple by the State of Colorado and transferred to DOE. The status of subsurface mineral ownership and confirmation of the apparent regulatory protections has not been obtained."
(2012 UMTRCA Title I Annual Report, U.S. Department of Energy, February 2013)

No new claim stakes found on Maybell tailings disposal site in 2013 - an indication that prospectors have lost hope that the uranium price will ever recover?

"No additional stakes were found in 2013."
(2013 UMTRCA Title I Annual Report, U.S. Department of Energy, March 2014)


Naturita, Colorado

> U.S. DOE Office of Legacy Management: Naturita sites external link

Aerial View (processing site): Google Maps external link new window · MSRMaps external link new window
Aerial View (Upper Burbank disposal site): Google Maps external link new window · MSRMaps external link new window

 

Groundwater monitoring to be terminated at Naturita tailings disposal site

On Oct. 31, 2013, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) requested the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission's concurrence on DOE's decision to terminate ground water monitoring at the Naturita Colorado Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act (UMTRCA) disposal site.
By letter dated Apr. 15, 2014, NRC staff did not object to DOE's proposal, but cautioned that the Commission might still require some form of groundwater monitoring. (ADAMS Acc. No. ML13333A806)

 

Final Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact Documents Available for UMTRA Ground Water Project Site at Naturita, Colorado

> Download GJO release Apr. 23, 2003 external link (PDF)

> Download: Final EA external link (1.2M PDF) · FONSI external link (PDF)

 

Draft Environmental Assessment Document for Naturita, Colorado, UMTRA Ground Water Project Site Available for Public Comment

A compliance strategy is being proposed of no further remedial action of the ground water with the application of alternate concentration limits for uranium and vanadium.
Public comments on the draft Environmental Assessment should be made no later than March 24, 2003.

> DOE GJO release Feb. 20, 2003 external link (PDF)

> View Naturita general site info · DOE GJO groundwater info external link


Rifle, Colorado

> U.S. DOE Office of Legacy Management: Rifle sites external link

Aerial view (Old Rifle processing site): Google Maps external link new window · MSRMaps external link new window
Aerial view (New Rifle processing site): Google Maps external link new window · MSRMaps external link new window
Aerial view (Estes Gulch disposal site): Google Maps external link new window · MSRMaps external link new window

 

DOE proposes to abandon groundwater cleanup at former Old Rifle uranium mill site for "technical impracticability"

On May 1, 2012, U.S. DOE transmitted to NRC a Draft Groundwater Compliance Action Plan for the Old Rifle, Colorado, UMTRCA Title I Processing Site: "This draft Groundwater Compliance Action Plan presents the most recent characterization information and a new compliance strategy for groundwater cleanup at the Old Rifle, Colorado, former uranium-ore processing site. The proposed groundwater compliance strategy will continue to be protective of human health and the environment. A recommendation of -- no remediation with the application of supplemental standards based on technical impracticability -- is provided."
> Download: Draft Groundwater Compliance Action Plan for the Old Rifle, Colorado, UMTRCA Title I Processing Site external link, LMS/RFO/S07857, March 2012, U.S. Department of Energy Legacy Management (ADAMS Acc. No. ML12123A719)

DOE proposes relaxed groundwater standards for former New Rifle uranium mill site

On April 30, 2012, U.S. DOE transmitted to NRC a proposal for relaxed groundwater standards at the former New Rifle processing site: "The U. S. Department of Energy, Office of Legacy Management (DOE-LM) is currently planning to update the New Rifle Groundwater Compliance Action Plan (GCAP) in 2013. One potential compliance strategy is no remediation with the application of alternate concentration limits (ACLs)."
> Download: Development of Risk-Based Alternate Concentration Limits for the New Rifle, Colorado, Processing Site (Draft) external link, LMS/RFN/S08753, March 2012, U.S. Department of Energy Legacy Management (ADAMS Acc. No. ML121220331)

Natural flushing at Old Rifle processing site not functioning as predicted

Concentrations of selenium and vanadium at the Old Rifle site continue to decrease. Uranium concentrations do not display any consistent trends and have not declined as the modeling results in the Site Observational Work Plan (SOWP) predicted. The modeling results indicated that uranium would meet its groundwater standard sitewide within 30 years.
> Download 2010 Verification Monitoring Report for the Old and New Rifle, Colorado, Processing Sites, September 2010 external link (1.9M PDF - DOE LM)
> Download Old Rifle Title I Processing Site, Rifle, Colorado - What Are They Doing on My Site? external link presentation by Richard Bush, Rifle Site Manager, November 16, 2010 (3.5M PowerPoint - DOE LM)

Last of historic uranium mill tailings properties in Colorado transferred

On July 1, 2004, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment announced that the last uranium mill tailings reclamation site in Colorado has been cleaned up and the property transferred to the City of Rifle.
The department's Hazardous Materials and Waste Management Division has managed the cleanup of the Rifle West (New) Mill Site under the provisions of the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act (UMTRCA) program. The act gave Colorado authorization to clean up these sites in 1978. Authorization for surface soils cleanup ended in 1998, while ground and surface water authorization continues indefinitely.
> View CDPHE release July 1, 2004 external link

Final Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Siginificant Impact documents available for New Rifle, Colorado, UMTRA Ground Water Project Site

> Download GJO release July 29, 2003 external link (PDF)
> Download Environmental Assessment external link (3.1MB PDF) · FONSI external link (160k PDF)

Draft Environmental Assessment Document for New Rifle, Colorado, UMTRA Ground Water Project Site Available for Public Comment

The targeted compliance strategy for the New Rifle site is natural flushing in conjunction with institutional controls and monitoring.

> Download GJO release June 2, 2003 external link (PDF)

New Groundwater Compliance Strategy Proposed for Vanadium at New Rifle, Colorado, UMTRA Site Based on Pilot Study Results

DOE is proposing a compliance strategy of no remediation for vanadium in the alluvial aquifer, in conjunction with application of an alternate concentration limit for vanadium and establishment of institutional controls for the site.
> Download Grand Junction Office Perspective, July 2002 (PDF) external link, p. 6-7

Draft Environmental Assessment of Ground Water Compliance at the New Rifle, Colorado, UMTRA Site Available

The draft Environmental Assessment analyzes the potential environmental impacts associated with the proposed compliance strategy of natural flushing with institutional controls to meet the ground water cleanup standards to mitigate human health risks for all contaminants except vanadium.
> View GJO release Nov. 28, 2001 external link

> View Rifle general site info · GJO groundwater info external link


Slick Rock, Colorado

> U.S. DOE Office of Legacy Management: Slick Rock sites external link

Aerial View (West and East processing sites): Google Maps external link new window · MSRMaps external link new window
Aerial View (disposal site): Google Maps external link new window · MSRMaps external link new window

 

Groundwater restoration by natural flushing at former Slick Rock uranium mill sites not functioning as predicted

"Evaluation of trends documented in Section 5.0 suggest that certain constituents might not attenuate as initially predicted based on groundwater modeling conducted for the SOWP [Site Observational Work Plan] (DOE 2002b). Although it is still early in the 100-year time frame established in 40 CFR 192, time trend analysis for many constituents and wells indicate a stable (flat) or, in some cases, an increasing trend."
> Download Verification Monitoring Report for the Slick Rock, Colorado, Processing Sites, LMS/SRE-SRW/S07699, June 2011, U.S. Department of Energy Legacy Management: DOE LM (3MB PDF) external link · NRC ADAMS (30MB image scan PDF) external link
> Download Verification Monitoring Report for the Slick Rock, Colorado, Processing Sites, LMS/SRE-SRW/S08837, May 2012, U.S. Department of Energy Legacy Management: DOE LM (4.5MB PDF) external link · NRC ADAMS (23.8MB image scan PDF) external link

DOE releases Final Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact Documents for Slick Rock, Colorado, UMTRA Ground Water Project

"The Environmental Assessment states that DOE's compliance strategy for both sites is to allow natural flushing to reduce the levels of contaminant concentrations in the ground water to acceptable levels within the 100-year time frame allowed by law. In conjunction with the compliance strategy, DOE will ensure that institutional controls are maintained to prevent future use of the ground water. Institutional controls protect public health and the environment by limiting access to a contaminated medium. DOE will also continue monitoring ground water and surface water at the Slick Rock sites."
> Download DOE GJO release March 13, 2003 external link (PDF)
> Download Final EA external link (4.5MB PDF) and FONSI external link (250k PDF)

DOE releases Draft Environmental Assessment Document for Slick Rock, Colorado, UMTRA Ground Water Project

The targeted ground water compliance strategy is natural flushing.
Any public comments on the draft Environmental Assessment should be made no later than January 21, 2003.

> GJO news release Dec. 19, 2002 external link (PDF)

License for Long-Term Custody

"On August 31, 1998, the Division of Waste Management placed the Slick Rock, Colorado, uranium mill tailings disposal site, located at Burro Canyon, Colorado, under general license, consistent with the provisions of 10 CFR 40.27. The Slick Rock disposal site was reclaimed by the Department of Energy (DOE) under Title I of the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act of 1978 (UMTRCA). The Slick Rock site will be the fifteenth of nineteen disposal sites scheduled to be completed by DOE and licensed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) under UMTRCA. At this Time, three disposal sites, Ambrosia Lake, New Mexico, and Naturita and Maybell, Colorado, remain to be licensed by NRC following completion and submittal by DOE of the appropriate documentation. When these three sites are licensed by NRC, DOE will have completed the surface cleanup and reclamation phase of the uranium mill tailings remedial action project. The nineteenth site, at Grand Junction, Colorado, is not scheduled for completion until 2023, since it will remain open to accept additional contaminated materials found at vicinity properties."
[NRC Weekly Information Report For the Week Ending September 4, 1998]

> View Slick Rock general site info · DOE GJO groundwater site info external link


Idaho

Lowman

Lowman, Idaho

> U.S. DOE Office of Legacy Management: Lowman site external link

Aerial view: Google Maps external link new window


New Mexico

Ambrosia Lake · Shiprock

Ambrosia Lake, New Mexico

> U.S. DOE Office of Legacy Management: Ambrosia Lake site external link

Aerial view: Google Maps external link new window · MSRMaps external link new window

 

License for Long-Term Custody

"On September 25, 1998, staff from the Division of Waste Management (DWM) licensed the Department of Energy (DOE) as the long-term custodian for the Ambrosia Lake, New Mexico, mill. With the licensing of this site, DWM has completed all its obligations for Fiscal Year 1998 as required by Title I of the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act. Two DOE sites remain to be licensed. DOE anticipates having these sites ready for licensing in the first quarter of Calendar Year 1999. When the two remaining sites are licensed, the DOE Title I program for reclaiming abandoned uranium mills will be complete. DOE will continue its program to restore and monitor contaminated groundwater at the sites over the next couple of decades."
[NRC Weekly Information Report For the Week Ending October 2, 1998]

> View Ambrosia Lake general site info · DOE GJO groundwater site info external link


Shiprock, New Mexico

> U.S. DOE Office of Legacy Management: Shiprock site external link

Aerial view: Google Maps external link new window · MSRMaps external link new window

Midterm review reports slow progress of groundwater cleanup at Shiprock uranium mill tailings site

In March 2003, DOE began active remediation of groundwater using extraction wells and interceptor drains. The Shiprock site is divided physiographically and hydrologically into two regions, terrace and floodplain, that are separated by an escarpment.
> Download: 2010 Review and Evaluation of the Shiprock Remediation Strategy external link, U.S. Department of Energy, Legacy Management, January 2011 (9.3MB PDF)

Navajo EPA raises concerns on migrating groundwater contaminant plume at Shiprock UMTRA site

By letter dated Jan. 16, 2004, the Navajo Nation Environmental Protection Agency raises serious concerns on the groundwater contaminant plume migrating from the Shiprock uranium mill tailings site to the northwest:
"The past six years of data indicate that the terrace plume is migrating to the northwest along the area between Shiprock High and 2nd Wash. [...] This area has seen concentrations of nitrate, selenium, sulfate, and uranium steadily increase since 1998. The concentrations for each of these parameters now exceed the MCLs, benchmarks, and cleanup goals. [...]"

UMTRA Ground Water Shiprock, New Mexico, Final Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact Available

> View DOE GJO News Release Oct. 31, 2001 external link

> Download Environmental Assessment (4.1M PDF)external link · FONSI (100k PDF) external link

UMTRA Ground Water Shiprock, New Mexico, Draft Environmental Assessment Available for Review April 25, 2001

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Grand Junction Office (GJO) and Navajo UMTRA Program announce the availability of the Draft Environmental Assessment of Ground Water Compliance at the Shiprock, New Mexico, Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project Site.
> View DOE GJO News Release April 18, 2001 external link

Notice of Floodplain/Wetlands Involvement for Ground Water Remediation Activities at Shiprock, New Mexico, Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Site

Excerpt from Notice in Federal Register Vol.66, No.58, p.16451 (March 26, 2001) (download full notice external link):
"SUMMARY: The Department of Energy (DOE) hereby provides notice as required by 10 CFR part 1022, to conduct ground water remediation activities within the 100-year floodplain of the San Juan River at the Shiprock New Mexico Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Site, with possible impacts to wetlands. The site is located within the boundaries of the Navajo Indian Reservation. Activities are scheduled to commence in 2002, and consist of installation of extraction wells and pipeline to pump contaminated ground water from the alluvial aquifer to an evaporation pond on the terrace, in accordance with 40 CFR part 192, ''Health and Environmental Protection Standards for Uranium and Thorium Mill Tailings''. A floodplain/wetlands assessment has been prepared as an appendix to the environmental assessment (EA) that analyzes the potential environmental effects of this action.

DATES: Written comments are due to the address below no later than April 25, 2001."

> View Shiprock general site info · DOE-GJO groundwater info external link


North Dakota

Belfield and Bowman

Belfield and Bowman, North Dakota

No cleanup for Belfield and Bowman tailings sites

Excerpt from Notice in Federal Register Vol.63, No.51, p.13039- 13040 (Mar 17, 1998) (download full notice external link):
"SUMMARY: In 1979, the Secretary of Energy designated inactive uranium milling sites, including two sites at Belfield and Bowman, North Dakota, for cleanup under the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act of 1978. In 1995, the State of North Dakota requested that the designations of the Belfield and Bowman sites be revoked citing its belief that there will be minimal risk to the public and the environment if the sites are not cleaned up and the State's inability to pay its 10 percent share of the cleanup costs required by UMTRCA.
The Department of Energy is proposing to revoke the designations of these sites because of the low risks to the public and the environment at the sites, DOE's lack of authority to clean up the two sites without costsharing by the State, and the existence of alternative authority to regulate the sites following revocation of the designations. Following revocation, these two sites will no longer be eligible for cleanup under the provisions of UMTRCA.

DATES: Public comments will be accepted on this proposed action. Comments should be submitted by April 16, 1998. If the Department does not receive any comments on this proposed action that would cause it to reconsider its proposal, the revocations shall be effective on May 18, 1998; and the Belfield and Bowman, North Dakota, processing sites and associated vicinity properties will no longer be eligible for remedial action by the Department of Energy under the provisions of UMTRCA."

> View Environmental Assessment of No Remedial Action at the Inactive Uraniferous Lignite Ashing Sites at Belfield and Bowman, North Dakota external link, EA-1206

> View Belfield and Bowman site info


Oregon

Lakeview

Lakeview, Oregon

> U.S. DOE Office of Legacy Management: Lakeview site external link

Aerial view (processing site): Google Maps external link new window · MSRMaps external link new window
Aerial view (disposal site): Google Maps external link new window · MSRMaps external link new window

 

NRC approves "no remediation" groundwater compliance strategy for Lakeview processing site

The Lakeview, Oregon, Processing Site's groundwater compliance action plan (GCAP) received U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) concurrence last month. This makes Lakeview the first Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act (UMTRCA) of 1978, as amended, Title I site where a finalized GCAP has selected a "no remediation" compliance strategy because concentration limits for regulated constituents have been met.
> View DOE Legacy Management release July 12, 2013 external link
> Download Groundwater Compliance Action Plan for the Lakeview, Oregon, Processing Site external link, June 2010 (7.8MB PDF)

DOE proposes "no further action" for groundwater cleanup at Lakeview

DOE's proposed compliance strategy for addressing the contamination in the groundwater associated with past milling activities at the Lakeview Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) site is "no further action". This proposal is based on the widespread, naturally occurring arsenic content in the water. According to DOE, this contamination was not a result of the milling activities that took place at the Lakeview former processing site.
A public meeting to discuss the proposed compliance strategy will be held on July 21, 1999.
(DOE GJO news release July 8, 1999 external link)

Riprap rock cover on reclaimed uranium mill tailings deposit does not meet longterm durability requirement

A riprap layer is often placed atop reclaimed mine tailings repositories to provide long-term erosion protection. Rock quality tests performed on samples taken from the cover of the reclaimed UMTRA uranium mill tailings impoundment near Lakeview, Oregon, indicated that the rock was suitable for erosion protection; the durability evaluation, however, suggested that the rock may disintegrate in 130 to 272 years. This is less than the applicable 200 - 1000 year longterm criteria.

Source:
Riprap rock durability versus rock quality: A case study; by C.I. Thornton, S.R. Abt, T.L. Johnson. In: Tailings and Mine Waste '97, Rotterdam/Brookfield 1997, ISBN 90 5410 857 6, p. 283-289

> View Lakeview general site info · DOE GJO groundwater site info external link


Pennsylvania

Canonsburg · Burrell (PA)

Canonsburg, Pennsylvania

> U.S. DOE Office of Legacy Management: Canonsburg site external link

Aerial view: Google Maps external link new window · MSRMaps external link new window

U.S. DOE to repair stream bank near Canonsburg uranium mill tailings disposal cell

The U.S. Department of Energy Office of Legacy Management (DOE-LM) will repair sections of the stream bank of Chartiers Creek near Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, damaged by floodwaters from Hurricanes Frances and Ivan. Restoration is scheduled to begin the first week of March 2005. Two areas along the Chartiers Creek stream bank at the Canonsburg Disposal Site were damaged during the floods. One area is in the northern portion of the site adjacent to the disposal cell. The disposal cell and drainage structures at the site were not damaged by the floods.
> Download DOE-LM release March 2, 2005 external link (PDF)

U.S. Department of Energy Stabilizing Southern Bank of Chartiers Creek

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Grand Junction Office (GJO) is stabilizing the southern bank of the Chartiers Creek stream bank between the Strabane Avenue bridge abutment and the Pittsburgh Industrial Railroad Bridge abutment near Canonsburg, Pennsylvania. This work is being performed under the DOE Long Term Surveillance and Maintenance Program, which is charged with providing for the long-term care and maintenance of former millsites and associated properties.
The purpose of this stabilization is to prevent further erosion and sloughing of the stream bank into Chartiers Creek. Several active monitor wells are located in the former millsite area and are an integral part of the on-going ground water compliance strategy for the site. The stabilization of the stream bank is part of the commitment made to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission when the site was licensed in 1996. The remedial action project at Canonsburg, in which uranium mill tailings and associated materials were removed and stabilized in an on-site engineered disposal cell, was completed in 1985.
> View DOE GJO release (Dec. 5, 2000) external link

> View Canonsburg general site info · DOE-GJO groundwater info external link

 


Burrell disposal site, Pennsylvania

> U.S. DOE Office of Legacy Management: Burrell site external link

Aerial View: Google Maps external link new window · MSRMaps external link new window

Beaver dam removed at Burrell tailings disposal site

"In 2005, inspectors found that the slough along the south side of the disposal cell, fed by ground water, had backed up as a result of a beaver dam on the slough west of the site boundary. The dam caused water to back up half way up the security fence. In November 2005, DOE coordinated with State wildlife officials to remove the beavers in accordance with State regulations, and then breached the dam. Water levels in the slough have returned to normal (PL–3). A smaller beaver dam remains that has caused some ponding of water, but is not currently considered problem enough to warrant removal; the water had not risen to the elevation of the contaminated materials within the cell." (2006 Annual Site Inspection and Monitoring Report for Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act Title I Disposal Sites, December 2006, U.S. DOE, Office of Legacy Management)


Texas

Falls City

Falls City, Karnes County, Texas

> U.S. DOE Office of Legacy Management: Falls City site external link

Aerial view: Google Maps external link new window · MSRMaps external link new window

Relaxed Groundwater Standards

The Environmental Assessment of the Groundwater Compliance Activities at the Falls City, Texas, Uranium Mill Tailings Site, and the Finding of No Significant Impact are available to public. The Environmental Assessment for the Falls City site analyzed the potential environmental impacts of the proposed action for applying supplemental (=relaxed) standards, which is the compliance strategy determined appropriate for residual ground water contamination that exists in the shallow ground water as a result of the former milling operations. It was determined that the proposed action will not result in the need for an Environmental Impact Statement and it complies with the Environmental Protection Agency's Ground Water Regulations (40 U.S. Code of Federal Regulations Part 192). (see DOE GJO release Apr.15, 1998 external link)

> Download Environmental Assessment of Ground-Water Compliance at the Falls City, Texas, Uranium Mill Tailings Site external link, U.S. DOE, DOE/EA-1227, March 1998 (PDF)

> View Falls City general site info · DOE GJO groundwater site info external link


Utah

Green River · Mexican Hat · Monticello · Salt Lake City

Green River, Utah

> U.S. DOE Office of Legacy Management: Green River site external link

Aerial view: Google Maps external link new window · MSRMaps external link new window

 

License for Long-Term Custody

"On August 20, 1998, the Division of Waste Management (DWM) placed the Green River, Utah, site under a general license consistent with the provisions of 10 CFR 40.27. The Green River disposal site was reclaimed by the Department of Energy (DOE) under Title I of the Uranium Mill Tailings Act of 1978.
DOE is in the process of completing the Title I program. Four sites are left to be licensed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Work at two of these sites is complete, and DWM is awaiting information from DOE to complete licensing. DWM anticipates that the licensing of the Ambrosia Lake, New Mexico, and Slick Rock, Colorado, sites should be complete in September/October. The remaining two sites at Maybell and Naturita, Colorado, will be licensed in early 1999 once DOE completes reclamation work." (NRC Weekly Information Report For the Week Ending August 28, 1998)

> View Green River general site info · DOE GJO groundwater site info external link


Mexican Hat, Utah

> U.S. DOE Office of Legacy Management: Mexican Hat site external link

Aerial view: Google Maps external link new window · MSRMaps external link new window


Monticello, San Juan County, Utah

> U.S. DOE Office of Legacy Management: Monticello site external link

Aerial view: Google Maps external link new window · MSRMaps external link new window

 

DOE presents plan for improved active groundwater remediation at former Monticello uranium mill tailings site, replacing failed natural attenuation scheme

In May 2014, DOE submitted a work plan for an improved active groundwater remediation at the former Monticello uranium mill tailings site, replacing the failed natural attenuation scheme. Contaminated groundwater will be pumped by eight vertical extraction wells and piped to existing evaporation ponds. DOE, however, recognizes that even with this "agressive approach" restoring the aquifer to current remediation goals may not be feasible in a reasonable time (within 50 years as defined in the OU III ROD for natural attenuation).
> Download: Final Groundwater Contingency Remedy Optimization Remedial Design/Remedial Action Work Plan for the Monticello Mill Tailings Site Operable Unit III, Monticello, Utah, LMS/MNT/S10629, May 2014 external link (6.1MB PDF)
EPA Region 8 approved the work plan on June 20, 2014.

Memorial for cancer victims dedicated at site of former Monticello uranium mill

In the southeastern Utah town of Monticello Friday evening (May 7), cancer survivors dedicated a memorial on the site of an old uranium mill.
The goal of the Victims of Mill Tailings Exposure (VMTE) committee is to somehow convince the government pick up not only the cancer screening cost, but the cancer treatment costs as well. (ABC 4 News May 7, 2010)

Monticello Victims of Mill Tailings Exposure (VMTE) Committee receives additional funding for cancer screening

Local leaders of the Victims of Mill Tailings Exposure (VMTE) were elated last week to receive an additional $381,000 in federal funding. This money, along with funds already received, and an application for another grant next year, will go a long way toward the goal of screening everyone who has ever lived in Monticello and surrounding areas for cancer. Senators Orrin Hatch and Bob Bennett were instrumental in obtaining this new funding.
What this funding means is that anyone who lived in the Monticello area between 1941 and 2000 can go to the State Health Deptartment Office in the San Juan County Courthouse in Monticello and, after proving residency during at least a few of those years, receive a voucher. The voucher holder may then receive a complete screening at the San Juan Hospital. The screening will ascertain whether or not the voucher bearer has any symptoms of cancer through extensive blood work and other tests. (San Juan Record March 25, 2009)

Study finds higher cancer risks for residents near former Monticello uranium mill

A new study, released by the state Department of Health external link and prepared by epidemiologist John Contreras, found an elevated risk of lung, bronchial and stomach cancers among Monticello residents during several five-year time periods from 1973 to 2004. Completed in December 2007, the study is one of several completed since 1997 by federal and state agencies in response to residents' fears. Contreras said on Feb. 29, 2008, that the cancers have been linked to exposure to toxins released during uranium and vanadium processing, but the 2007 study is unable to draw a direct link. "We can't definitively say ... that the significantly elevated incidence of cancer is associated with the mill," Contreras said. Still, the new findings are welcome news to Monticello residents, who have long claimed that the mill made people sick. (Salt Lake Tribune Feb. 29, 2008)

> Download Cancer incidence study, a follow-up study of cancer incidence in Monticello City, Utah - 1973-2004, December 27, 2007 external link (1.7M PDF, Utah DOH)
> View related reports and links external link (Utah DOH)

Database to be extended for study on cancer incidence among residents at former Monticello uranium mill site

State health officials have launched a new phase of their health probe in Monticello, where residents suspect a government uranium mill is to blame for decades of cancer cases and deaths. "We hope that these next steps will bring us closer to understanding the cancer incidence in Monticello and any possible connection to the mill," said David N. Sundwall, state health executive director.
Sundwall's team promised in May 2006 to look for ways to fill in information gaps in the state's data about cancer in the area. It turns out that standard health study practices excluded much information. They would not allow the Health Department to count the cancers of people who had moved out of the southeastern Utah community and people who had died before the cancer registry began. The health department plans to complete its data-gathering by the year's end. (The Salt Lake Tribune, Aug. 4, 2006)

Study finds no increased cancer incidence among residents at former Monticello uranium mill site

The Utah Department of Health (UDOH) report, compiled by its office of epidemiology, concluded that the incidence of cancers in zip code 84535 (Monticello and surroundings) is "not statistically significant." However, the report cautioned that the health department's study is just preliminary and did not include cancers diagnosed prior to 1973, the year the Utah Cancer Registry began, and that it also didn't include cases diagnosed outside Utah.
The mill operated on the south side of town from 1943 to the beginning of 1960, processing both vanadium and uranium. The uranium ore, trucked in from hundreds of mines in the area, was pulverized into fine yellow dust that was blown by the prevailing winds across the town, and was tracked home by workers to unsuspecting family members. After shutdown of the mill, the tailings piles became a favorite playground for children, and provided "sand" for sandboxes, brick mortar and road base.
The town first noticed what might be cancer clusters in the 1960s when seven young people living within blocks of each other died of leukemia. Since then, there have been at least 18 other leukemia cases, according to a health survey prepared by grass-roots group Victims of Mill Tailings Exposure (VTME). VMTE's list includes more than 416 cancers; the UDOH's study included 141. (Deseret News May 25, 2006)

> Download Health Consultation - An Investigation of Cancer Incidence in Monticello, Utah - Monticello, San Juan, Utah, May 17, 2006, Prepared by Utah Department of Health external link (1.4M PDF - Utah DOH)
> View related reports and links external link (Utah DOH)

DOE Inspector General criticizes DOE's oversight over reclamation of Monticello uranium mill tailings site (Utah)

"The Department entered into a cooperative agreement with the City [of Monticello] in June 1999 that, among other things, required the restoration of the mill site and certain associated areas. [...]
Our audit disclosed that the Department did not effectively monitor or control certain aspects of the restoration of the Monticello Mill Site. The restoration of the site was completed as required; however, the City did not adequately maintain the site, and it suffered significant erosion. The Department took action to correct erosion problems that were of immediate concern, but it did not ensure that the City used funds provided under the agreement for long-term maintenance of the mill site."

> Download Audit Report - Restoration of the Monticello Mill Site at Monticello, Utah, DOE/IG-0665, October 2004 external link (PDF)

DOE invites public comment on proposed cleanup approach by natural attenuation for Monticello OU III tailings site

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has developed a Proposed Plan that presents the preferred remedial alternative for Operable Unit III of the Monticello Mill Tailings Site near Monticello, Utah. Operable Unit III encompasses contaminated surface water and ground water at and hydraulically downgradient of the former Monticello millsite. DOE believes that monitored natural attenuation with institutional controls provides the best balance of tradeoffs among the cleanup alternatives being considered.
> Download DOE GJO release Nov. 24, 2003 external link (PDF)

Comments will be accepted through January 15, 2004.

> View DOE GJO Monticello projects external link

EPA deletes parts of Monticello Mill Tailings site from National Priorities (Superfund) List

Federal Register: August 13, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 156), p. 48314-48321 (download full text external link)
"... This partial deletion pertains to a portion of the Site designated as the Operable Unit (OU) II Non-Surface and Ground-Water Impacted Peripheral Properties, which are located within OU II of the Site. The OU II Non- Surface and Ground-Water Impacted Peripheral Properties are 22 of the 34 total properties that comprise OU II. These 22 properties were selected for deletion from the NPL because the primary contaminants of concern, radioactive materials in soils and sediment, have been removed to levels protective of human health and the environment, and because no radiological or nonradiological contamination is present in surface water or ground water located on these properties. [...]

DATES: This direct final partial deletion will be effective October 14, 2003, unless EPA receives adverse comments by September 12, 2003. ..."

Cleanup of 424 Monticello Vicinity Properties completed

Excerpt from Notice in Federal Register Vol.64, No.250, p.73423-73427 (Dec. 30, 1999) (download full notice external link):
"SUMMARY: The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Region 8, announces the deletion of the Monticello Radioactive Contaminated Properties Site (Site), located in Monticello, Utah, from the National Priorities List (NPL). The NPL is the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution and Contingency Plan (NCP), which EPA promulgated pursuant to section 105 of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980, as amended (CERCLA). EPA, with the preliminary concurrence of the State of Utah Department of Environmental Quality (UDEQ), has determined that responsible parties have implemented all appropriate response actions required and that no further response at the Site is appropriate.

DATES: This direct final rule will be effective February 28, 2000, unless EPA receives significant adverse or critical comments by January 31, 2000."

Interim ROD for the Monticello Surface and Ground Water Remedial Action Project

"On September 29, 1998, an Interim Record of Decision (ROD) for the Monticello Mill Tailings Site Surface and Ground Water Operable Unit III (OU III) was signed by the Environmental Protection Agency, Utah Department of Environmental Quality, and the U. S. Department of Energy." [...]
> View DOE GJO release (Nov. 17, 1998) external link

> View Monticello site info


Salt Lake City, Utah

> U.S. DOE Office of Legacy Management: Salt Lake City sites external link

Aerial view (processing site): Google Maps external link new window · MSRMaps external link new window
Aerial view (South Clive disposal site): Google Maps external link new window · MSRMaps external link new window (sourrounded by Energy Solutions' radwaste disposal site)


Wyoming

Riverton · Spook

Riverton, Fremont County, Wyoming

> U.S. DOE Office of Legacy Management: Riverton site external link

> Aerial view: Google Maps external link new window · MSRMaps external link new window

Ongoing study investigates possible link between uranium contamination at former Riverton uranium mill site and high cancer rates on Wind River Indian Reservation

On the Wind River Indian Reservation in central Wyoming, an ongoing community health study may finally link uranium contamination to residents' high rates of normally rare cancers.
The old Susquehanna-Western mill, located a few miles southwest of Riverton, the ninth-most-populated city in Wyoming, began processing uranium and vanadium ore in 1958, using sulfuric acid to extract the elements from rock. The mill closed in 1963, but its sulfuric acid plant is still in production. When the mill shut down, Susquehanna-Western left behind massive piles of contaminated materials, commonly known as tailings, for two decades. While finally removed in the late 1980s, contamination persists.
The reservation's water supply runs through the former Susquehanna-Western uranium mill site. Many of members of the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho tribes who reside on the 2.2 million-acre reservation opt to use piped-in water supplies instead of their wells to avoid further exposure to the toxins.
Director of The Rocky Mountain Tribal Epidemiology Center external link (RMTEC) Folo Akintan says despite the history, "there has never been a community health impact assessment" on the reservation. The data analysis is still in-progress. RMTEC will take another six months to complete data collection and analysis. (Indian Country Today Nov. 5, 2012)

 

Impacts of 2010 flooding on groundwater quality at former Riverton uranium mill site

Natural flushing of contaminated aquifer at Riverton site may not be accomplished in 100-year regulatory time frame: "Although still above their respective MCLs (maximum concentration limits), molybdenum and uranium concentrations in the surficial aquifer groundwater have returned to their pre-flood levels after the increases that followed the 2010 flood of the Little Wind River. However, numerous lines of evidence, including updated groundwater modeling, indicate that the rate of natural flushing may not be rapid enough to meet the 100-year regulatory limit."
> Download: 2013 Verification Monitoring Report, Riverton, Wyoming, Processing Site external link, LMS/RVT/S11203, U.S. DOE, Legacy Management, April 2014 (38.1MB PDF)

Natural flushing of contaminated aquifer at Riverton site found to perform slower than anticipated: The Department of Energy says it's unlikely that the high levels of uranium at a contaminated site on Wind River Reservation will flush out of the groundwater naturally in 100 years, like they previously thought. DOE initiated additional data collection at the site after a flood in 2010 caused uranium levels to spike even higher.  In a new report, the agency says it's not totally clear where the uranium that caused those spike came from.
> Download: 2012 Enhanced Characterization and Monitoring Report, Riverton, Wyoming, Processing Site external link, LMS/RVT/S09799, U.S. DOE, Legacy Management, June 2013 (5.4MB PDF)

DOE releases data summary report for groundwater and soil tests conducted at former Riverton uranium mill site after 2010 flooding: On Feb. 19, 2013, the U.S. Department of Energy announced the availability of a Data Summary Report of enhanced characterization fieldwork conducted in August 2012 at the Riverton, Wyoming, Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act (UMTRCA) Site. "The Department will use the data to assess why levels of groundwater contamination in monitoring wells increased after the 2010 historic flood event of the Little Wind River," said Bill Dam, DOE Riverton site manager. "The next step is to analyze and interpret the data."
> Download: Enhanced Characterization of the Surficial Aquifer Riverton, Wyoming, Processing Site, Data Summary Report, LMS/RVT/S09545 external link, U.S. Department of Energy, Legacy Management, January 2013 (19MB PDF)

Contaminant concentrations in surficial aquifer at former Riverton uranium mill site remain high after 2010 flooding: "Concentrations of molybdenum and uranium in samples collected in 2011 from wells affected by the flood are less than 2010 levels but have not returned to pre-flood levels."
> Download: Verification Monitoring Report for the Riverton, Wyoming, Processing Site, Update for 2011 external link, April 2012, U.S. DOE Legacy Management, LMS/RVT/S08569 (4.7MB PDF)

Flooding causes dramatic increases in contaminant concentrations in surficial aquifer at former Riverton uranium mill site: "Uranium and molybdenum are the indicator constituents for compliance monitoring at the Riverton site, and concentrations are still above their respective MCLs (maximum concentration limits). Flooding of the Little Wind River (in June 2010) caused dramatic increases in contaminant concentrations in surficial aquifer monitoring wells located in flooded areas. The flood resulted in wells on the western edge of the plume to have concentrations above the uranium MCL."
> Download: Verification Monitoring Report for the Riverton, Wyoming, Processing Site, Update for 2010 external link, February 2011, U.S. DOE Legacy Management, LMS/RVT/S07202 (4.4MB PDF)

 

Relaxed groundwater standards

The U. S. Department of Energy (DOE) Grand Junction Office (GJO) announces the availability of the final Environmental Assessment of Ground-Water Compliance at the Riverton, Wyoming, Uranium Mill Tailings Site document, and Finding of No Significant Impact.
The Environmental Assessment analyzed the potential environmental impacts of the proposed action for applying supplemental standards at the Riverton site; supplemental standards is the compliance strategy determined appropriate for residual ground-water contamination that exists in the shallow ground water as a result of the former milling operations.
> View DOE GJO release (Oct 14, 1998) external link

> View Riverton general site info · DOE GJO groundwater site info external link


Spook, Converse County, Wyoming

> U.S. DOE Office of Legacy Management: Spook site external link

> Aerial view: Google Maps external link new window

Adoption of "No action" approach leaves 3.8 million m3 of contaminated groundwater uncleaned

from: NRC Weekly Information Report for the Week Ending October 10, 1997:
Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards

"Completion of Groundwater Reclamation at Spook Mill

On October 8, 1997, Division of Waste Management staff concurred on the Department of Energy's (DOE's) Groundwater Compliance Action Plan (GCAP) for the Spook Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project site at Spook, Wyoming. The groundwater restoration phase of the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project was initiated by DOE's final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS). As set forth in the GCAP, DOE's approach requires No remedial action to the groundwater at the Spook site since there is No apparent risk to human health or the environment because there is No known exposure pathway. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff determined that the "No action" approach for this site satisfies the requirements set forth in the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act of 1978 (UMTRCA), and the standards in 40 CFR 192, Subparts B and C for the cleanup of groundwater contamination resulting from the processing of ores for the extraction of uranium. NRC had previously concurred on the surface cleanup of the Spook site and licensed it for long-term care. With the NRC concurrence on the GCAP, remedial action for this site as required under the UMTRCA is considered complete. Spook is the first uranium mill tailings site where NRC has concurred on all of the actions required of DOE for both surface and groundwater remediation since the DOE PEIS was issued."

> View Environmental Assessment of Ground-Water Compliance Activities at the Uranium Mill Tailings Site, Spook, Wyoming external link, EA-1155

> View Spook general site info · DOE GJO groundwater site info external link


> View background information on Uranium Mill Tailings Management - USA

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