Disposal Cell Location and Land Withdrawal

In 2005, DOE selected the Crescent Junction site for permanent disposal of the uranium mill tailings and other contaminated materials from the former Atlas millsite. At that time, DOE requested a 5-year temporary withdrawal of approximately 2,300 acres of public domain lands under the responsibility of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management for the disposal cell and buffer zone, including areas needed to support construction. The Assistant Secretary of the Department of the Interior (DOI) approved DOE’s request and Public Land Order No. 7649 was published in the Federal Register on November 15, 2005.

DOE finalized the design for the disposal cell and in the fall of 2007 applied for the permanent land transfer of 500 of the 2,300 acres. DOI issued Public Land Order No. 7697 on March 31, 2008, in the Federal Register, permanently transferring this land to DOE. A correction to the land description for the transfer was published on August 15, 2008, in the Federal Register. During the temporary withdrawal renewal process, DOE will relinquish the portions that are no longer needed back to public domain.

In the fall of 2008, DOE applied for a 20-year renewal of 936 acres of the land held in temporary withdrawal and the transfer of jurisdiction of this land from DOI to DOE. DOI approved the renewal application and Public Land Order No. 7734 was published in the Federal Register on June 11, 2009.

The anticipated outline of the final disposal cell and the boundaries of the temporary withdrawal and permanent land transfer areas are shown on the linked figure. The eastern portion of the disposal cell will be the last to be completed and the cell footprint may need to be adjusted depending on the actual volume of tailings relocated from the Moab site. However, the figure is the best representation based on current knowledge.

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