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Posted Tue Oct 30 2012: from Bloomberg:
First U.S. Oil Sands Mine Proceeds Without Pollution Permit
Utah officials have given a Canadian company the greenlight to begin mining oil sands on a remote plateau in Eastern Utah without first obtaining a pollution permit or monitoring groundwater quality, an action that sets the stage for a possible court battle over the fragile region. The board of the Utah Division of Water Quality sided with Calgary-based U.S. Oil Sands contends that there was little or no water in the area of the company's proposed mine site and affirmed the agency's earlier decision not to require the permits or monitoring.... The board as well as officials of the Water Quality Division wrestled with the question of how much water is to be found in this semi-arid region, which gets an average of 12 inches of precipitation a year.... Dubuc, the lawyer representing Living Rivers, said even small seasonal amounts of water and water on adjoining land need to be protected.
[Read more stories about: water issues, oil issues, regulatory stupidity]

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