For several months, shipments of radioactive soil that were supposed to be buried near Canon City have instead been taken to a remove disposal site in Utah.
The Cotter Corporation, which has processed uranium at its Canon City mill for decades, still hopes to conduct lucrative disposal operations there, but the state has rejected Cotter's proposal to accept up to 470,000 tons of radioactive soil from a Superfund site in New Jersey. Cotter officials haven't submitted a new application to the state.
Meanwhile, proceeds from a $70 million transportation and disposal contract with the Army Corps of Engineers are going to Envirocare Incorporated, which operates a nuclear waste dump west of Salt Lake City.
After submitting the low bid for the disposal, Cotter managers hoped to start the job without public meetings because it had a license allowing for disposal of processed ore. But a citizens group pushed lawmakers to approve a bill calling for public meetings, making it more difficult for Cotter to accept the New Jersey waste.