Challenge. Maintain compliance with groundwater protection standards defined in operating license

Solution. The White Mesa Mill is the only fully-licensed and operating conventional uranium mill in the United States, and one of only three in North America. Located in southeastern Utah, the facility has a licensed capacity of 2,000 tons per day and can produce up to 8 million pounds of uranium per year. The operating license requires compliance with groundwater protection standards or compliance limits approved by the Utah Division of Waste Management and Radiation Control (DWMRC). INTERA is responsible for completing much of the water quality analysis and reporting that is required for maintaining the operating license for the Mill. As part of this work, we have determined background conditions for groundwater over 25 years after milling commenced, demonstrated that elevated concentrations of key constituents were not related to tailings leakage, gained approval from DWMRC for using alternative groundwater concentration limits when measured concentrations were exceeding the limits, and ultimately ensured compliance under the Mill’s groundwater discharge permit.