Story By: James Jarman
Published Tue Apr 07, 2009, 10:00 PM MDT
Updated Wed Apr 08, 2009, 02:53 AM MDT
Leaders of the group Colorado Citizens Against Toxic Waste are gearing up for an all out fight, after learning that a company wants to reopen a uranium mill.
The Cotter Corporation's mill in Canon City has been a federal superfund site since 1984.
The site is roughly 3 miles south of Main Street in Canon City.
The mills be in "stand down" mode according to the Colorado Department of Health, but Cotter's jumping through the legal hoops and plans to get the mill up and running in 2014.
"I am outraged that this mill has decided to reopen when they are sitting in their own contamination and have been for the past 25 years," Jeri Fry told News First.
Her father was a scientist at the mill decades ago and blew the whistle on the company. That put Cotter Corporation in the center of decades of lawsuits over radioactive contamination. Fry's father later died from lymphoma, which she says was caused by exposure to toxic material at the mill.
She helped start the group Colorado Citizens Against Toxic Waste with Carol Dunn and others. They successfully fought to keep Cotter from shipping in radioactive material from New Jersey and storing it at the Canon City site.
And now they plan to do what it takes to keep the company form reopening the mill.
"They (Cotter) need to not only clean up, go away, but go where there is not the population we have," said Dunn.
They point to nearby Shadow Hills golf course as proof that cleanup from toxic waste decades ago isn't done. Just last summer radioactive groundwater was found at the course.
At the mill, just across the road from the golf course, managers ask people to not to judge the company on mistakes made more than 30 years ago.
STATEMENT & LINKS FROM COLORADO DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH & ENVIRONMENT
Cotter Corporation has sent the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment a letter stating its intent to apply for a major license amendment to refurbish its mill and resume ore processing in Cañon City.
The Department anticipates this application will be submitted in July of 2011, and will review it based on environmental impacts, radiation health and safety impacts and social/economic impacts. In the meantime, the state continues to oversee ongoing monitoring, cleanup and
maintenance of the Cotter facility.