Administrative Judge Reverses Uranium Mine Decision

The Interior Board of Land Appeals (IBLA) recently issued a decision reversing a portion of the BLM’s decision approving the Daneros uranium mine located in southeastern Utah. The Monticello BLM field office and the Utah state director approved the uranium mine, situated between Natural Bridges National Monument and Fry Canyon in San Juan County – in the midst of large expanses of wild lands of spectacular beauty, even by Colorado Plateau standards.

The raw uranium ore will be transported by truck from the mine to the White Mesa Mill in Blanding, 65 miles from the mine, for processing. SUWA’s appeal argued, among other issues, that the BLM must consider the environmental effects of milling and processing the ore before issuing the permit. The BLM refused to do so, but the IBLA agreed with SUWA. SUWA has requested that the operation be halted while the BLM is re-examining these impacts to air quality from the milling operation, which the agency should have done before approving the mine.