For Immediate Release, January 11, 2010
Contact: Taylor McKinnon, Center for Biological Diversity, (928) 310-671, firstname.lastname@example.org
Public Hearing to Focus on Massive Nuclear Water-rights Permit Request That Would Kill Endangered Fish
GREEN RIVER, Utah— On Tuesday the Utah Division of Water Rights will hold public hearings on applications by both the Kane County and the San Juan County water conservancy districts to change the diversion points of 53,600 acre-feet of water from the Colorado and San Juan rivers upstream to the Green River. The applications also seek to change the designated use of the water to facilitate operation of a nuclear reactor along the Green River proposed by Blue Castle Holdings, Inc.
The nuclear facility and its water consumption would deplete and alter Green River flows already threatened by climate disruption—flows that the survival and recovery of four endangered fish species depend (Colorado pikeminnow, razorback sucker, bonytail and humpback chub). The reactor further threatens to kill endangered fish caught in water intake structures and to exacerbate regional water contamination by associated uranium mining that is already contributing to the fish’s decline in the upper Colorado River basin. Other imperiled species will also potentially be harmed, including the roundtail chub, bluehead sucker and flannelmouth sucker, all of which are subject to conservation agreements between the state and federal governments in order to preclude the need to list them under the Endangered Species Act.
“Imposing this massive water withdrawal atop climate change and regional drying would force unacceptable risks on to endangered fish and the Colorado River system,” said Taylor McKinnon of the Center for Biological Diversity, “It’s time for the era of pollution- and water-intensive energy development to end. Those old technologies need to be replaced with clean renewables and energy conservation.”
The Center for Biological Diversity and other organizations protested the two applications owing to potential impacts on water flows, endangered species and other reasons. Protesting and other parties that will participate in the hearing include the Center for Biological Diversity, Uranium Watch, Living Rivers, Grand County Council, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Green River ranchers and farmers and a river recreation company, Grand County citizens, Red Rock Forests, HEAL Utah, the Uintah Water Conservancy District, Utah Rivers Council and the Sierra Club.
Any person not a party to the proceeding may participate at a hearing as a witness for a party or, upon the consent of the Presiding Officer, may participate as part of the Division's investigative and fact finding powers.
||John Wesley Powell Museum
765 East Main
Green River, Utah
||9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, January 12, 2010