Mining, contamination and mill tailings are consistent issues in Indian country and the Wind River Indian Reservation, home of the Shoshone and Arapaho tribes, will be able to air their concerns on May 2, when the United States Department of Energy hosts an informational public meeting for Riverton, Wyoming, Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act (UMTRCA) Site, according to a DOE press release.
The Riverton mill site located on the north side of State Highway 789 in Fremont County covered 218 acres. The tailings pile was 72 acres of the 218 acres at a depth of 4 feet according to the DOE. It’s the location of a former uranium- and vanadium-ore-processing mill that was operated from 1958 to 1963 according to the release.
Contamination of the groundwater happened during past ore-processing and natural flushing was selected as the remediation strategy. There are no disposal cells at Riverton, and the mill tailings were moved to another mill in Wyoming for future disposal according to the release. Further work is being done by the DOE and will be part of the informational meeting that will include an update on the current strategy, health concerns and alternative water supply system.
"We encourage everyone to come to the meeting to discuss DOE's ongoing work at the Riverton site and hear about our upcoming plans," said April Gil, DOE Riverton site manager in the release. "We take our responsibility of protecting the local citizens and the environment very seriously."
The public meeting will be from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. at the Central Wyoming College Arts Theater, 2660 Peck Avenue.
The meeting will be broke down as follows:
- From 6 p.m. – 7 p.m. attendees will have the opportunity to review and discuss the new information and talk with DOE representatives.
From 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. the DOE representatives and other agencies will do a briefing on the current status. Along with a question and comment period.