Wyoming Business Report, January 5) – This week the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) withdrew its proposed rule that would have put new regulations on in-situ uranium recovery (ISR).
In January 2015, the EPA issued a proposed rule requiring uranium recovery operators to conduct up to 30 years of groundwater monitoring following uranium production. On Jan. 4, 2017, EPA decided to re-propose the rule rather than issue a final rule. A 180-day comment period will begin upon official publication of the proposal in the Federal Register.
U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., applauded the decision that he said would essentially allow President-elect Donald Trump’s new administration to decide the fate of the proposed regulations. Wyoming currently produces the largest share of uranium in the United States.
“In-situ uranium recovery has been used in the United States for decades, providing valuable jobs to Wyoming and clean energy to the nation,” Enzi said. “I rarely say this about the EPA, but the agency made the right decision in delaying implementation of this new rule, which could burden the industry with unnecessary red-tape. I urge President-elect Donald Trump to carefully review the proposed rule so the new Administration can clearly understand the consequences of these regulations on a vital industry.”
ISR is a method of producing uranium without removing the uranium orebody. It offers a wide range of environmental and public health benefits, and is the principal means by which uranium is produced in the United States. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission ensures the safety of uranium recovery by inspection and enforcement of strict groundwater protection standards.