Dear Cañon City and Fremont County,
For decades there has been divided opinion as to the benefit or detriment of the Cotter Corporation uranium mill. There are those who believed that the jobs and prestige of a uranium mill were important in spite of the stigma of the Cotter-caused Superfund designation. The group of people who were concerned by the contamination were often threatened and mocked as irrational fear mongers. In 2011 Cotter decided its future is to close the outmoded mill and relinquish the license associated with the site. Now is the time for Fremont County citizens to put an end to their differences of opinion of Cotter’s place in the past and make sure that our future is secure.
The next few months are crucial in deciding what the Cotter site will look like for decades to come and our community has a big part to play in those decisions. What land use will be allowed on the Cotter property? What levels of contamination will be left in soils and groundwater? Can the impoundments be secured for hundreds of years upstream from Lincoln Park and the Arkansas River? Do we have to wait decades for our wells to be usable again, if ever?
Now is the time for all the entities who oversee operations at this mill, the Radiation Management Unit of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency, to put THEIR differences aside as well to work for proper clean-up of the Cotter site. Many of the regulations governing nuclear sites dovetail among the agencies, federal regulations must be followed by the State of Colorado. Our local government, Cañon City officials and Fremont County Commissioners have the role of representing community desires to the state and federal agencies, and they need to know what the community desires. And you, the community, have an obligation as well–to be informed, to be educated, and express what you want the landscape of the Cotter site to look like when Cotter and the agencies have left our city.
Please attend the July 19th Road Map Community Meeting from 6-8 p.m. at the Abbey and participate in upcoming Community Advisory Meetings. Your voice must be heard now.
“There is a time and tide in the events of men..” to paraphrase Shakespeare, and this is our time in this community.
380 Barrett, Canon City
719-275-7618 or 275-2822
Category: Guest Column