EPA revises ruling on uranium mill near Bears Ears National Monument

By Ron Dungan
Published: Wednesday, July 27, 2022 - 4:44pm

White Mesa Mill
Ron Dungan/KJZZ
White Mesa Mill in southern Utah.

In December, the Environmental Protection Agency issued an Unacceptability Notice to a uranium mill located near Bears Ears National Monument, but the agency has revised that notice.

The EPA singled out the condition of a tailings pond at White Mesa Mill in southern Utah.

It said the pond was not entirely covered in water as required by law, and raised concerns over radon emissions.

Energy Fuels Resources, which operates the mill, protested the decision, and the agency recently revised its ruling to apply only to the uncovered pond.

“We really hope that EPA will take a hard look at what is going on at this facility,” said Chaitna Sinha, of the Grand Canyon Trust.

The trust says although the mill is regulated as a uranium processing facility, it frequently operates as a radioactive waste facility.