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"The State Engineer," said Sarah Fields, program director of the anti-nuclear Uranium Watch in Moab, "did not properly investigate [Blue Castle] claims regarding the financial arrangements and utility commitments to the project."
Uranium Watch, along with more than 200 other groups, individuals and government agencies, protested the water rights change applications, with many of them questioning the finances.
Jones previously told The Tribune that he has no one on staff qualified to perform detailed financial investigations and that he did not believe he was required to bring in an expert to perform such a review. Financial scrutiny of the project will come from the NRC, he explained.
It is not clear whether the SEC’s cease-and-desist action will prompt anyone to request a reconsideration of the water-rights change.
Jones said no one has requested the opportunity to present any new information about the license application so far, but there are still two weeks left to file such a request.
In addition, anyone who objects to the license will have an opportunity to appeal the decision in state court, he said.
"There’s no doubt someone will request reconsideration," said Matt Pacenza, of the Healthy Environment Alliance of Utah. "The weakest part of the state engineer’s decision by far is the part where he determined this is a reasonable plan to fund the project. It’s alarming that Blue Castle is not only refusing to tell Utahns how it plans to make this happen, but apparently also not telling the state engineer."
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