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S.J.R. 12 Enrolled







Sponsor: Mike Dmitrich

                  This joint resolution of the Legislature urges the federal government to evaluate all
                  legitimate relocation alternatives for the Atlas Minerals Corporation Moab uranium mill
                  Be it resolved by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
                      WHEREAS, between 1956 and 1984, at the direction of the Federal Atomic Energy
                  Commission, the Atlas Minerals Corporation and its predecessors deposited approximately 10.5
                  million tons of uranium mill tailings into an unlined pile adjacent to and in the floodplain of the
                  Colorado River approximately three miles northwest of Moab, Utah;
                      WHEREAS, the Atlas Minerals Corporation is now bankrupt, and the Federal Department
                  of Energy has acquired title to the property and responsibility for its cleanup;
                      WHEREAS, federal law mandates remediation of this site in accordance with Title I of the
                  Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act of 1978, but exempts Utah from the cooperative
                  agreement participation requirement and its 10% cost-share obligation;
                      WHEREAS, the Department of Energy has prepared a draft preliminary plan for the
                  remediation which has been submitted to the National Academy of Sciences for its review and
                  comment before the Secretary of Energy selects a remediation alternative;
                      WHEREAS, presently, the major benefit for remediation-in-place is a cost savings, but
                  there is a greater likelihood that costs could increase in the long term;
                      WHEREAS, because of the geologic complexity of the Moab site there are uncertainties
                  associated with the long-term integrity of the remediation-in-place alternative;
                      WHEREAS, by relocating the pile and disposing of the tailings off-site, a stable disposal
                  site can be selected to better ensure cell performance that minimizes potential long-term hazards
                  and active maintenance requirements, and facilitates remediation of contaminated groundwater at

                  the Moab site;
                      WHEREAS, of the more than 20 Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act processing
                  sites, no precedent exists for remediating a uranium mill tailings pile in a floodplain;
                      WHEREAS, tailings piles at seven other processing sites located in the Colorado River
                  drainage basin upstream from the Moab site were relocated in areas outside the influence of the river;
                      WHEREAS, the Governor, the Department of Environmental Quality, and many other federal
                  and local officials and citizens of Moab have urged that the tailings be relocated:
                      NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Legislature of the state of Utah urges the
                  United States Federal Department of Energy, the National Academy of Sciences, and the Secretary
                  of Energy to choose an option to relocate rather than to remediate the mill tailings adjacent to the
                  floodplain of the Colorado River approximately three miles northwest of Moab, Utah.
                      BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this resolution be sent to the United States
                  Department of Energy, the National Academy of Sciences, the Secretary of Energy, and the members
                  of Utah's congressional delegation.

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