Examining EPA’s Proposed Groundwater Rule for In-Situ Uranium Recovery

Subcommittee on the Interior, Energy, and Environment
Subcommittee on the Interior, Energy, and Environment
Hearing Date: June 23, 2016 10:00 am 2154 Rayburn HOB

PURPOSE:

  • To examine the proposed rule and how it impacts states, federal agencies, and the in-situ recovery industry.
  • To examine how the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) can best move forward with the rule, including ways it can work with impacted groups.

BACKGROUND:

  • On January 26, 2015, EPA issued a proposed rule entitled “Health and Environmental Protection Standards for Uranium and Thorium Mill Tailings,” which sets new groundwater protection standards for in-situ uranium recovery operations.
  • In-situ recovery is an extraction process where liquid uranium-containing solution is pumped from underground, thus avoiding the need for surface or underground mining.
  • State, industry, and other federal agencies are critical of the rule, which EPA plans to finalize by the end of the year.

 

Witnesses and testimonies

Name Title Organization Panel Document
Mr. Jonathan Edwards Director - Radiation Protection Division U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Mr. Charles Maguire Director of Radioactive Materials Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
Mr. John Cash Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Ur-Energy
Mr. Geoffrey Fettus Senior Attorney Natural Resources Defense Council