CAÑON CITY - On December 16, 2010, Cotter Corporation announced that it will stop processing uranium at its mill in Cañon City. The announcement comes two years after Environment Colorado helped pass a law designed to force the company to clean up or shut down.
“This is a major victory for Cañon City and all of Colorado,” said Bessie Schwarz, Field Organizer with Environment Colorado. “The dangers of the mill are far too great to tolerate and we are pleased that our worked helped ensure Cotter Corporation stops polluting.”
Starting in the late 1950s, Cotter dumped liquid waste laced with radioactive material and heavy metals from the processing of uranium for weapons and fuel. After well tests at the sites showed contamination, federal authorities placed the mill on a national list for Superfund cleanups and eventually turned clean up authority over to the state.
House Bill 1348, the Uranium Processing Accountability Act, required any uranium processing facility to clean up its toxic mess before applying for new or expanding operations. Cotter’s license was set to expire by the end of the year.