The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Taylor McKinnon, Center for Biological Diversity, (928) 310-671,

Public Hearing to Focus on Massive Nuclear Water-rights Permit Request That Would Kill Endangered Fish


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

"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

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.

PLACE: John Wesley Powell Museum
765 East Main
Green River, Utah
TIME: 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, January 12, 2010

At the Center for Biological Diversity, we believe that the welfare of human beings is deeply linked to nature — to the existence in our world of a vast diversity of wild animals and plants. Because diversity has intrinsic value, and because its loss impoverishes society, we work to secure a future for all species, great and small, hovering on the brink of extinction. We do so through science, law and creative media, with a focus on protecting the lands, waters and climate that species need to survive.

(520) 623-5252