Saturday, March 14, 2009

A Comment on Water Testing and Uranium Exploration in Goliad, TX

Mark Krueger has left us such a timely and well-considered comment (in regard to the article below re: the 24-Hour Hotline set up by the Uranium Commission in TX) that we're publishing it separately as well as connected to the article. We'll also try to keep up with Mr. Krueger's questions, and their answers, posed to the uranium industry through the Victoria Advocate. There are many parallels between what's going on in Goliad and what's going on with Coles Hill. We sincerely appreciate Mr. Krueger's taking the time to leave us such a thoughtful comment. We also appreciate his efforts in fighting to keep the Goliad area safe from contamination.

In Texas, no water testing is required prior to exploration. Exploration is regulated by the Texas Railroad Commission, which is absurd, and the mining is regulated by Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

Since exploration began in Goliad County, over 70 citations have been issued by TRRC for leaving boreholes open and leaving radioactive tailings on top of the ground. In the meantime, the torrential rains of 2007 poured down the holes. Did rainwater oxidize the ore down there? The answer: unknown. When baseline testing did occur, the numbers were through the roof.

Goliad County has sued UEC for violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act as eight wells were rendered useless, full of red, putrid, slimy iron bacteria. Since the exploration has stopped, the wells have cleared up. TRRC ruled the investigation closed, pointing the finger to "natural occurrences" regarding the contaminated wells. Time will tell.

As far as the hotline, that's a joke...nothing more than an invitation for unwary landowners to bite on the worm, so to speak.

I've left a good set of real questions in response to this article at the Victoria Advocate. I try to stay objective, but it's very, very hard to do.

--Mark Krueger

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