UPHE discusses litigation on KRCL’s RadioACTive

KRCL’s RadioACTive discussed two of UPHE’s latest litigation efforts last week. 

They had Michael Toll of the Grand Canyon Trust, our partner in a lawsuit targeting an oil shale lease in the Uinta Basin, discussing a huge win. Our settlement agreement cut oil shale giant, Enefit’s, planned strip mine and processing facility off from its water supply.

Deseret Power was granted an exception to continue a water right under a provision that allowed them to do so if that water was being used to generate power for the public. They violated that exception however by agreeing to use all of the water for Enefit’s oil shale operation. 

Operations would have required massive uses of energy, exacerbated the Uinta Basin’s poor air quality issues, as well as creating toxic waste that would endanger surface and groundwater, so this was a huge win for a healthy environment in Utah. 

UPHE’s Dr. Brian Moench was also on the segment along with partners in our newest lawsuit to save Great Salt Lake. We are using the public trust obligation to sue the state, which Nick Burns, host of the segment, reminds us was used to save Utah Lake when the scheme to dredge it was raised. 

“We suffer now from an airpocalypse,” Dr. Moench said on the show. “Most of the dust storms occur in the spring and the fall, when the air quality is supposed to be the best during the year.”

“Mercury is the most toxic heavy metal there is. Great Salt Lake has had the highest levels of mercury of any inland body of water in the United States, by quite a bit,” Dr. Moench said. 

Listen on KRCL’s website here.