DOE: Deal doesn’t bar mercury storage in Colorado
September 7, 2009
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – The U.S. Department of Energy says storing thousands of tons of mercury at a disposal site near Grand Junction would not conflict with an agreement between the federal government and Mesa County.
The department is studying the site and six others around the country for storing the nation’s excess mercury deposits.
The Mesa County site has millions of tons of uranium mill tailings. A 1996 agreement prohibits the storage of mill tailings from other locales there, but the Energy Department said in a letter to state Sen. Josh Penry of Grand Junction that the mercury storage facility would be a completely separate operation.
Gov. Bill Ritter has said the mercury should be stored where it was generated.