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Mr. MARRIOTT. About 30 blocks from the State Capitol and about 8 or 9 blocks to the west, there is a large area of some 130 or so acres of land just simply sitting out there with these radioactive elements right on top of the ground. About 8 feet. The contaminated area and the soil is about an 8-foot deep area on this 130 acres of land just sitting there. There are no fences on it. It can be distinguished by a large smokestack in the middle of it with the words "Vitro" on it. There is no fencing whatsoever.
We have identified that some of these tailings have been removed. I earlier indicated that some have been removed and formed the bed of fire station No. 1, but most of them have not been removed to the extent they were in Grand Junction, for example, and so they are all remaining right in that location.
Property values have been depressed substantially. We had a hearing out in Salt Lake a while back and many people came and testified that their friends and relatives have either died or now have serious health conditions with cancer as a result of living in this area.
Also, one of the school districts prepares its food in its food kitchen within a very small, small distance from this tailing site. It is just sitting out there and nobody knows what to do with it and I think it poses a very serious situation not only to property values, but to health values as well.
Mr. GORE. If the Federal Government paid 100 percent of the cost of cleaning it up-and I want to reserve judgment on whether that ought to be the case or not, then the property values would increase substantially, is that correct?
Mr. MARRIOTT. Around and about the area-
Mr. MARRIOTT. I would say what they would do is, they would not increase substantially; they would come back up to the point where they would have been without the Vitro tailings there because nobody will buy the property. People can't sell, and what has happened now is that the people in that area have a depressed market condition for their homes in comparison with those say 15 or 10 miles farther away from the site.
I am guessing no one is going to make a bonanza there, except maybe the people who have purchased the Vitro tailing site. If it is cleaned up, they could well see a great appreciation which I think could be resolved by the States if they are required to purchase the land.
Mr. GORE. If the State does not purchase the site and a private corporation owns the site and the land value is depressed today, and if the Federal Government pays 100 percent of the cost of cleaning this stuff up, and the land value soars, then the owner of the land has received substantial value as a result of the 100 percent expenditure by the Federal Government.
Mr. MARRIOTT. And I would say that poses a problem that we have looked at that would in fact be the case and my guess is that prior to any type of Federal money, the State should probably be required to purchase that land-
Mr. GORE. In all cases?
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. FINNEGAN. Mr. Marriott, in your bill you also provide for cost sharing of 75 percent for offsite restoration work. Can you tell us what you mean by offsite? It is not defined in the bill.
Mr. MARRIOTT. The only precedent we have regarding the 75/25 split was that established in the Grand Junction, Colo., area and that is where the 75/25 comes in to begin with.
Now, the cffsite, if I am not mistaken, is the tailings that have been taken away from the original site, placed in another location for building purposes, and then the costs associated with solving the problem away from the original site.
Mr. FINNEGAN. Are there any such areas in Utah that you are concerned with?
Mr. MARRIOTT. We have identified some five or six areas on a very small scale where such sites have been—where the Vitros have been moved to another site. Other than the fire station, I think there are no large areas.
I stand corrected. There are 5 sites of significant problem and 17 that need to be cleaned up in the Salt Lake area.
Mr. FINNEGAN. Could you provide a list of those for the record? Mr. MARRIOTT. I would be delighted. [The following information was received for the record:)
URANIUM MILL TAILINGS-OFF-SITE LOCATIONS 1
1. 3690 South Main Street (Firehouse No. 1).
5. 3687 South 2740 West. Commercial
1. 3195 South 900 West. 2. 3215 South 900 West. 3. 184 West 3300 South. 4. 1101 South 700 West. 5. 3585 South 500 West.
6. Two lots adjacent to 2545 South 300 West. Lots
1. 3432 South 900 West.
Mr. FINNEGAN. Under your bill and the administration bill, you are not suggesting by the initial language of the legislation about a "compassionate responsibility” of the United States to assume responsibility for any claims that may arise at a later time as a result of the radiation exposure from any of these sites, is that correct?
Mr. MARRIOTT. Although the language in my bill possibly needs further clarification regarding the liability issue, it is my intention
As identified by EPA study. Please note EPA never completed study due to lack of funds, and thus there may exist additional sites.
that the Federal Government be held liable for an health impact that may result from exposure to these tailings piles.
Mr. FINNEGAN. In the bill itself you are not intending that the United States by held responsible?
Mr. MARRIOTT. No, that is incorrect.
We will next hear from Mr. Anderson. We are pleased to have
EXPLORATION & DEVELOPMENT CORP., ACCOMPANIED BY JAMIE DEUEL
Mr. ANDERSON. We have a prepared statement written by one of the company vice presidents which will be much more eloquent than what I will talk about. Since I don't read too well, I will address the question perhaps a little more disjointedly if that is all right.
Mr. OTTINGER. We will be glad to include your full statement in the record.
Mr. ANDERSON. I thought perhaps it would be a little easier if you had some visual idea. We have about 12 slides of the site at Naturita, Colo. Ranchers has two sites, one at Naturita and one at Durango. We have several proposals. Ours are a little more from a commercial aspect than they are from a general public aspect.
In our case we will approach it from the company's participation with the Government. It is perhaps a good way to clean up some sites and make it more acceptable at the least possible cost.
I believe it would be easier if we just show you these slides and then I will come back and make my statement for the record.
Mr. DEUEL. This is one of the 22 tailing sites that have been mentioned.
Mr. OTTINGER. Would you identify yourself, please?
Mr. DEUEL. I am Jamie Deuel, former Navy submarine commander, now working with Ranchers in the environmental licensing aspect of the business.
This site (slide 1) located along the San Miguel River, one of the major recreational rivers in the State, was positioned by the Federal Government. In hindsight we can identify that it was a very, very poor location there, right alongside the river. This is the tailings proper. This shows where the General Electric Co. has an ore stockpiling area to the left of the slide and these are some of the administrative and associated buildings.
The tailings (slide 2) owned by Ranchers is right here. The location is not only bad from its proximity to the river, but it is located on a very pervious gravel bed which will make ultimate cleanup a real challenge.
Here (slide 3) we are down at the site itself. You can see basically the way we go about this. There are essentially three pieces of equipment. There is a bulldozer on the site that moves the material so a front-end loader can in turn dump it into one of these trucks.
Ranchers (slide 4) moved this material about 3.5 miles away from the river inland to a desolate part of the State. There were no
with total implementation of the restoration and disposal. These
is financially penalized for actively participating in the restoration. 5) Section 5(b) - If the federal government pays for the land acquisition
then items 5(b)(1) and (2) are reasonable. If the state pays, the provisions in this section are grossly unfair to the state and should
be deleted. In either case, item 5(b)(3) should be deleted. 6) Section 7(a) - Bluewater, New Mexico and Milan, New Mexico should be
included in the list of sites (also see comment #12). 7) Section 7(b) - DOE should also provide financial assistance (if not
provided for in Section 4(g)) for restoration plan preparation. The final approved plan should be satisfactory to the state as well as the
Secretary. 8) Section 7(c) $140,000,000 would not be sufficient to achieve the
goal of the bill. It is recommended that $600,000,000 be allocated.
(See item #2 of my May 10, 1978 letter). 9) Section 9(b)(1) and (2) - Radiation criteria should be referred to
Section 10(a). (See comment #1 above). 10) Section 9(b)(3) In addition to long-term monitoring, DOE, under this
section, should be responsible for any long-term site maintenance and
Impact Statements required under the NEPA should be defined. Since
resources nor authority to prepare an EIS.
excludes all inactive uranium tailings sites in New Mexico with the
can be provided for by this bill. I hope that these comments will be of assistance to you and that the major concerns outlined above will be provided for in the final version of this important legislation. Sincerely,
Your letter to Governor Apodaca regarding legislation addressing the
The Environmental Improvement Division staff has reviewed HR 11698 (I
included in the list of sites (Sec. 2(f)). One is located at
included in the study.
in an average of 7 million dollars per tailings pile. Of the