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DOE Evaluates Environmental Impacts of Uranium Mining on Government Land in Western Colorado

March 15, 2013 - 12:20pm


GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced that the Draft Uranium Leasing Program Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (ULP PEIS) is available for public review and comment.

Under the Uranium Leasing Program, DOE’s Office of Legacy Management manages 31 tracts of land in Mesa, Montrose, and San Miguel counties in Colorado – approximately 25,000 acres – that are leased to private entities for uranium and vanadium mining. No mining operations are active on these lands at this time.

DOE is preparing the ULP PEIS to analyze the reasonably foreseeable potential environmental impacts, including the site-specific and cumulative impacts, of a range of selected alternatives for managing the program.

DOE evaluated five alternatives ranging from cancelling the program to the no-action alternative of continuing the program for the remainder of the 10-year period, which is as it has been managed prior to this evaluation. In the draft PEIS, DOE identified the preferred alternative as continued management of the program with exploration, mine development and operations, and reclamation at the 31 lease tracts for the next 10-year period or for another reasonable period of time.

DOE will host four public hearings during the week of April 22 to take public comments on the Draft ULP PEIS in the Colorado communities of Grand Junction, Montrose, Telluride and Naturita. The time and location for each public meeting is listed below.

  • Grand Junction: April 22, 2013, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at the Colorado Mesa University, University Center Ballroom, 1455 N. 12th St.,  Grand Junction, Colo.
  • Montrose: April 23, 2013, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at the Johnson Elementary School, 13820 67.00 Road, Montrose, Colo.
  • Telluride: April 24, 2013, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at the Telluride Middle/High School, 725 W Colorado Avenue, Telluride, Colo.
  • Naturita: April 25, 2013, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at the Naturita School , 141 W Main St., Naturita, Colo.

The draft environmental impact statement can be found on the ULP PEIS website,, and on the DOE National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) web site at In addition to the public hearings, comments may also be submitted by mail or electronically via the web site or e-mail at the addresses listed below:

U.S. mail:
Ray Plieness, PEIS Document Manager
Office of Legacy Management
U.S. Department of Energy
11025 Dover Street, Suite 1000 Westminster, CO 80021

DOE will accept comments on the Draft ULP PEIS during the 60-day public comment period beginning March 15. DOE will consider all comments postmarked or received during the comment period in preparing the Final ULP PEIS and will consider any comments received after the comment period to the extent practicable.

Additional information on the DOE Uranium Leasing Program is also available on the DOE Legacy Management website at .