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Move Moab Tailings

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KSL shares Governor Huntsman’s view about the urgent need to move, not merely leave in place and cap, that toxic pile of old uranium mill tailings adjacent to the Colorado River near Moab.

The urgency is underscored by last month’s dramatic flash flooding along the Santa Clara and Virgin Rivers in Southern Utah. We all saw what Mother Nature can do when the flood gates are opened. Homes, thought safely away from a normally placid creek, were astonishingly washed away in a matter of hours.

Likewise, the uranium mill tailings sit precariously close to a river – in this instance, the mighty Colorado. Geologic studies suggest the Colorado, like any river experiences “episodic high flows and natural wandering . . . (that) could undercut the tailings pile.” Just imagine the potential consequences of tons of radioactive waste strewn downstream, here and there, on countless beaches and sandbars. Then consider the danger both to humans and the natural environment, along with the exponential cost of cleaning up after such a disaster.

In KSL’s view, Governor Huntsman is correct in his formal response to the Draft Environmental Impact Statement regarding the Moab site: “It is clear that the Tailings Pile cannot be left in the floodplain of the Colorado River.”

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