State engineer stands by his decision for nuke water
Marc Stilson from the Utah Division of Water Rights office reported to the Emery County Public Lands Council on Tuesday that State Engineer Kent Jones would not reconsider his January decision to award the change of point of diversion for water to be used in the possible construction of a nuclear power plant facility near Green River.
The official statement from the Division of Water Rights reads: The state engineer has denied two requests for reconsideration of his decisions approving two water right change applications to use water from the Green River for a proposed nuclear power plant. The water rights are owned by the Kane County Water Conservancy District and San Juan County Water Conservancy District and are being leased by Blue Castle Holdings, which seeks to build a nuclear power plant in eastern Utah.
The requests for reconsideration were submitted February 9, by Heal Utah, Uranium Watch and others. The requests assert that the state engineer did not consider certain pertinent facts including the applicants' financial ability to complete the project. The state engineer while acknowledging some financial commitments asserted by the applicants were improperly summarized in the decision, and others are apparently no longer a part of the applicants plans, has not granted reconsideration of the decisions because those facts were not central to his arriving at a reason to believe the applicants have the financial ability to construct the proposed works. The applicants "demonstrated a financial ability to complete the proposed works commensurate with this stage of a process that ultimately seeks to put to beneficial use the water proposed in the applications."
A copy of the orders denying reconsideration by the state engineer can be found at www.waterrights.utah.gov.
Stilson said any groups wishing to protest at this point will have 30 days to file an appeal in state court. Stilson said he expects the water right change applications to be appealed in court.