From the North Forty News (Dan MacArthur):
In its lawsuit, Powertech seeks to overturn state rules that it contends are unreasonable and unconstitutional. It also asserts that legislators’ involvement in the rule-making process violated constitutionally mandated separation of powers. Fort Collins state Reps. John Kefalas and Randy Fischer were among those participating. The suit was filed Nov. 1 against the Colorado Mined Land Reclamation Board and Mike King, executive director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources. The state must respond within 20 days after being served with the suit…
Powertech president Richard Clement said the company is proceeding with plans to apply for a mining permit sometime in 2011. Clement acknowledged his earlier statement that Powertech could live with the new state rules. But, he said, the Canada-based company was compelled to challenge the process because “there were a lot of inconsistencies in the way it was handled.”
The new rules principally apply to in situ leach mines such as the one proposed by Powertech. In situ mining involves pumping water underground to dissolve uranium. The solution then is pumped to the surface, the uranium extracted and the water returned underground. The rules require in situ leach operations to restore groundwater to its original quality or to standards set by the state. Applicants must also provide detailed baseline hydrology information and environmental protection plans and prove that the proposed mining technology has been used at five other locations without damaging groundwater quality.