31 Aug '12, 7pm

Utah’s going start mining tar sands of its own.

Utah’s going start mining tar sands of its own.

An administrative law judge has affirmed Utah’s decision to OK a Book Cliffs tar sands mine without requiring a groundwater pollution permit. The decision nearly concludes the state’s permitting for the nation’s first fuel-producing tar sands mine, leaving two state boards who were waiting on the judge’s recommendation to sign off. … Judge Sandra Allen’s decision hinged on whether there was groundwater around PR Spring in the arid high country between Vernal and Moab. If so, the state might require a pollution permit for any chemicals that might leach into it and ultimately reach the Colorado River. The company, Alberta-based U.S. Oil Sands, argued that there was no saturated groundwater — just intermittent precipitation and a deep regional aquifer that would be unaffected — and therefore no need for a permit.

Full article: http://grist.org/news/utah-oks-nations-first-tar-sands-mine/

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