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Salt Lake City, Utah - Utah Governor Jon M. Huntsman, Jr., is pleased with the announcement this morning made by the U.S. Department of Energy that a Record of Decision (ROD) has been issued on the removal of uranium mill tailings near Moab, Utah. The ROD has been signed, clearing the way for the removal of 11.9 million tons of the radioactive tailings from the banks of the Colorado River.


"This is great news for Utah and the millions of people who rely on the Colorado River for their water supply," said Governor Huntsman. "The ROD was essential to moving this project forward. We commend the work of the entire Utah congressional delegation for their tireless dedication to this effort."


One of the Governor's first priorities after taking office was to meet with Energy Secretary Samuel W. Bodman to discuss the removal of the radioactive mill tailings. The tailings pose a leaching threat to the Colorado River, and possible contamination to water users downstream.


Earlier this summer, the Department of Energy announced its approval of the plan to move the tailings to Crescent Junction, which is about 30 miles north of Moab. The Moab Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project Site Record of Decision provides for the tailings to be moved mostly by rail.


"Senators Hatch, Bennett and Governor Huntsman have been tremendous and effective advocates for the removal of these tailings from the banks of the Colorado River," said Secretary Bodman. "Their collective efforts have helped to secure millions of dollars for this project, but more importantly, the environmental health and quality of the Colorado River for generations to come."


The Moab Project Site is a former uranium ore processing facility. The site covers about 400 acres and includes a 130-acre uranium mill tailings pile.


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