United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Cotter Uranium Mill

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1.0 Site Identification

Type of Site: Unknown
Location: Canon City, CO
License No.: 369-01
Docket No.:
License Status:  

2.0 Site Status Summary

The site is a former uranium mill and currently consists of a former mill area, two impoundments (approximately 100 acres), ore storage pads, and a few office/lab/maintenance trailers, on approximately 2500 acres adjacent to Canon City and the unincorporated community of Lincoln Park. The site was licensed by Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) under the Radioactive Materials License CO 369-01 (the License). The mill was operated continuously from 1958 until 1979, and intermittently since then; the last commercial milling operation was conducted in 2006. The site was owned by Cotter Corporation until early 2018. Past milling operations have contaminated the soils and groundwater in the surrounding areas. Therefore, the site and the adjacent Lincoln Park area were added to the National Priorities List in 1984 as the Lincoln Park Superfund Site by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In 2012, the licensee officially announced decommissioning of the site and requested for termination of the License. As a result, the License was amended in 2014 and changed from a milling license to a decommissioning license; this amendment removed the authorization for any further source material processing. On March 9, 2018, the License was transferred from Cotter Corporation to Colorado Legacy Land, LLC.

3.0 Major Technical or Regulatory Issues

This site is duel regulated by the State of Colorado under the Agreement State authority (the License) and EPA under the Superfund authority. The site has also been under a Consent Decree (CD) issued by Colorado District Court since 1988. Since then, site remediation has been conducted in accordance with the requirements in the Remedial Action Plan (RAP) attached to the CD. In 2014, the licensee, EPA, and CDPHE entered into an Agreement on Consent that requires the site to be remediated following the Superfund processes, including completing Remediation Investigation (RI) and Feasibility Study (FS). To date, physical remediation on site has not been authorized, awaiting completion of the RI and FS. The decommissioning plan approved in 2005 will be revised upon completion of the RI and FS.

Ubiquitous onsite groundwater contamination is currently being collected in an active groundwater capture system and pumped back to one of the impoundments for disposal. Long-term remedial solutions for the soil and groundwater contaminations and the associated cleanup criteria will be determined after the RI and FS are completed.
Page Last Reviewed/Updated Thursday, August 23, 2018