By Elsa Partan
Laramie, WY – Members of a citizens' group concerned about uranium mining plan to ask for a tough environmental review on proposed mines in the northeast Wyoming. Jim Jones is a member of the group Ranchers and Neighbors Protecting Our Water: "One of the things that we're concerned about is that this process is very water intensive. For instance at the Smith-Highlands Ranch one site that's operating. In just one year there was 40 million gallons of water pumped out of the aquifer never to be returned."
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is proposing to use a generic environmental impact statement. It would simplify the process for 14 expected applications. But Jones says each mine will have its own environmental problems. Jones will push for a full environmental impact statement that has more details about each project.
The commission will hold two meetings this week on the issue: one Tuesday night in Gillette and the other Thursday night in Casper.