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Cameco Crow Butte ISL Nebraska
Cameco Crow Butte ISL Nebraska

Canada’s Cameco and Russian State owned Rosatom (Uranium One) asked the US EPA for comment extensions-public hearings, because of apparent concerns re the economic impact of restoring groundwater on their US operations. Rosatom (essentially Russia) seems to fancy itself a small business, which might have to cease operations. (Public Submission Posted: 02/23/2015 ID: EPA-HQ-OAR-2012-0788-0026) (Let them hurry up then and go back to Russia and Cameco to Saskatchewan, after cleaning up their messes.) They got the extension they wanted, of course, which is apparently why the deadline is now 27 May.

This, in combination with the weak and toothless nature of the groundwater (aquifer) restoration required under the US EPA proposal, suggests that Cameco-Rosatom are currently mega-polluting the aquifers. How bad are they polluting that even a weak, toothless, standard raises alarm? It further raises the question of why Canada’s Cameco and Russia’s Rosatom are allowed to operate, mine and pollute American air, land and water, when the US has yet to clean up old American owned uranium mines? [1]

This US EPA rule, which sounds so glorious on the surface, appears to follow the US NRC lead in manipulating statistics to make the requirements as weak as possible:
http://www.epa.gov/radiation/docs/tenorm/proposal-40cfr192-12-31-2014.pdf, mean and deviation

This point is well explained by a Mathematician, in materials submitted to the EPA docket, on behalf of a Texas Branch of the Sierra Club (Public Submission Posted: 04/23/2015 ID: EPA-HQ-OAR-2012-0788-0062)
EPA-HQ-OAR-2012-0788-0062, Sierra Club Coastal TX letter p. A
EPA-HQ-OAR-2012-0788-0062, Sierra Club Coastal TX p. B
EPA-HQ-OAR-2012-0788-0062, p. C
(Red boxes added by us for emphasis) Original 33 pages of the Sierra Club Texas submission found here: http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=EPA-HQ-OAR-2012-0788-0062 http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;rpp=100;so=DESC;sb=docId;po=0;D=EPA-HQ-OAR-2012-0788 While this was written in the context of Texas rules, seven years ago, it was submitted to the record, because of its relevance. If this explanation doesn’t appeal to you, consider if you average your income plus Warren Buffet’s. Would the average represent your true income? Probably not. That is the “mean” or arithmetic average. The unfair repercussions of using the “mean” should help everyone recall the name.

Comment here until Wednesday, 27 May:
Draft upon which to comment: https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2015/01/26/2015-00276/health-and-environmental-protection-standards-for-uranium-and-thorium-mill-tailings

Thus far, we have found no mention of if they will stop spraying radium on the land. By the EPA’s own admission, radium is taken up and highly concentrated in root vegetables. https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2014/08/23/spraying-radiation-on-the-land-land-application-for-proposed-isl-uranium-mining-in-south-dakota/ If you think this is ok, read about the Radium Girls. Water can be filtrated at a cost, but cleaning contaminated soil is complex and nearly impossible.

Based on the following statement within the EPA proposal, it appears that for radionuclides such as radium, the EPA will have to bow to the NRC. However, the EPA can force clean-up of arsenic. The Pine Ridge Indian Reservation has to put filters on their water due to the arsenic, which apparently stems from Cameco’s Crow Butte mine. The crime is even bigger because Cameco’s Canadian mines are in the range of 16% or even higher grade ore (meaning that 84% is waste) and the Crow Butte Mine is 0.11% grade ore.[2] Such low grades mean that the mining is more a political decision of where they can get by with it, meaning that an ISL uranium mine can most likely pop up in your back yard, no matter where you live.

This is in the EPA so-called groundwater restoration rule. ACLs are Alternate Concentration Limits, which are exemptions to the Clean Water rules:
1. Judicial decisions

Section 192.32 has been affected by a ruling from the
Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. Under § 192.32(a)(2)(v),
NRC was required to obtain EPA concurrence for approval of
ACLs in groundwater restoration. This provision was
effectively struck down by the Tenth Circuit Court of
Appeals in Environmental Defense Fund v. U.S. Nuclear
Regulatory Commission, 866 F.2d 1263, 1268-1269 (10th Cir.
1989), when the Court ruled that NRC has authority under
AEA section 84(c) to independently make these site-specific
ACL determinations, and that NRC has no duty to obtain this
EPA concurrence. Therefore, today we are proposing to
revise 40 CFR 192.32(a)(2)(v) by deleting this EPA
concurrence requirement.

[1] If Cameco poisoning the Lakota Sioux with the Crow Butte mine isn’t enough, they and others have had to fight foreign miner Azarga (previously PowerTech) for years. Happily administrative judges ruled that the NRC hadn’t followed the process for evaluating historic and cultural properties. It seems that poisoning the American Indians with radionuclides and arsenic is ok, however. Then they and their artifacts can be conveniently categorized into a history museum. If you think that Black American’s are the poorest, you haven’t looked at the stats. The American Indians have been the poorest for decades and probably since the beginning of US stats. We mean here the indigenous inhabitants of American and not “Americans” from India, such as Kris Singh of Holtec, who are doing very well for themselves.

[2] “As of December 31, 2013, the mine has proven and probable reserves of 1,037,400 tonnes at an average grade of 15.76% U3O8.[3] (360.5 Million pounds)
As of December 31, 2013, proven and probable reserves are 928,600 metric tons at an average grade of 0.11% U3O8.[2] (2.3 million pounds)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crow_Butte