USOS (a tarsand stripmine) is spreading dangerous synthetic vitreous fibers on School Trust Lands at PR Springs, Utah.

Notice of Uncontrolled Air and Water Pollution in Uintah County, Utah and  Complaint made by UTSR.

       Please take notice and immediate corrective action regarding the Synthetic Vitreous Fibers (Fiberglass) being dispersed without control into the air and subsequently deposited onto the lands and into the waters of the Uncompahgre reservation in Uintah County, Utah.


  The source of the fiberglass is the deteriorating exterior insulation on a water tank serving the tar sand strip mine Police Substation of Agent Ronald C. Barton, Utah Attorney General’s Office, for SITLA, located adjacent to the USOS stripmine and factory on Seep Ridge Road, in Uintah County, Utah.

BACKGROUND:

The tank and uncontrolled dispersing fiberglass is apparently owned by USO (Utah) LLC, a private Delaware corporation based in Canada.

The tank is or was used in a bonded mine plan, M0470090, which was approved by Utah Division of Oil, Gas & Mining.

The tank is on land leased to USO (Utah) LLC., by the Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration (SITLA), and is located in Uintah County immediately west of Seep Ridge Road, just south of mile marker one.

  The US Government granted the impacted lands to the Uncompahgre Utes on January 5, 1882 by an executive order of President Chester A. Arthur, later the US Government took control of the land from the Ute Tribe through the allotment process. The Uncompahgre reservation boundaries were not diminished and the Ute nation retains jurisdiction on the subject lands.

SITLA subsequently obtained title to these lands in trade with the US Government.

The USO tarsand stripmine went into bankruptcy a couple years ago and the place shuttered up. Recently some activity is occurring. Photos of the deteriorating water tank at the tarsand stripmine show fiberglass entering the environment in large pieces and small and show the water tank’s connection to Attorney General’s Police Substation. A sample of the fiberglass has been collected as indicated.

The Photos are linked HERE: 

All of these photos accurately depict the conditions at this site in July 2019

The photos indicate recent activity at the USO stripmine factory site where a gas powered electric generator was placed on and near the water tank dispersing fiberglass in mid July 2019.

How can fiberglass affect my health?

Larger fibers have been found to cause skin, eye and upper respiratory tract irritation. There are other possible health effects:

A rash can appear when the fibers become embedded in the outer layer of the skin. No long-term health effects should occur from touching fiberglass. Eyes may become red and irritated after exposure to fiberglass. Soreness in the nose and throat can result when fibers are inhaled. Asthma and bronchitis can be aggravated by exposure to fiberglass. Temporary stomach irritation may occur if fibers are swallowed. 

SOURCE: http://www.idph.state.il.us/envhealth/factsheets/fiberglass.htm

What happens to synthetic vitreous fibers when they enter the environment? 

Synthetic vitreous fibers do not evaporate into air or dissolve in water. They are generally not broken down to other compounds in the environment and will remain virtually unchanged over long periods. 

  Eventually, synthetic vitreous fibers will be broken down if the water or soil is very acidic or very alkaline. Fibers can enter the air, water, and soil from the manufacture, use, and disposal of synthetic vitreous fiber-containing materials. Fibers with small diameters become airborne more easily than thick fibers, and can be transported by wind for longer distances. Synthetic vitreous fibers are not likely to move through soil.

SOURCE: Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 2004.

 

American Badger sighting today

american badger

This morning around 9:30 am I noticed an animal moving across the meadow. It looked like a large cat or small dog from afar so I grabbed a camera and ran over to the meadow. The badger ran up the dirt road and I got a few pics!

A one point it turned toward me and puffed up and growled. It was grunting and hissing as it ran off. Another amazing animal flourishing on the Tavaputs Plateau in the book-cliffs.

The badger has an interesting quality called “Embryonic diapause” or delayed implantation. This means the embryonic blastocyst does not immediately implant in the uterus after sexual reproduction.

Nature is wise.

US Oil Sands announces slow down and lack of funding! USOS STOCKS plummet!

PR Springs mine may NEVER open.

Utah Tar Sands Resistance is hopeful about the real impact of the recent announcement by US Oil Sands of the scale down of their plans for tar sands strip mining at PR Springs Utah. All beings will continue to gain from the existence of this remote ecosystem and the preservation of this historic source of spring water.

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news links about USOS slow down:

US Oil Sands slows Utah project, Salt Lake Tribune

US Oil Sands slows $60-million Utah project as prices tank, contractors close

article US Oil Sands announces decision to slow construction at PR Springs mine Moab Sun Times.

New Film, “The East Tavaputs Plateau: A Land Fighting for Survival”

 

This newly-released short film lets you see for yourself the incredible beauty of the East Tavaputs Plateau, slated for tar sands strip mining. Get up close to the natural wonders hiding throughout this enchanting land, and ask yourself what you would do to defend it.

On the East Tavaputs Plateau of so-called Utah, which is Uintah Ute territory, US Oil Sands is trying to start up the first massive strip mine to produce fuel from tar sands in the U.S. Meanwhile, grassroots groups like Utah Tar Sands Resistance, Peaceful Uprising, and Canyon Country Rising Tide are battling to defend this lush and diverse land. 

Witness the amazing beings and ecosystems fighting for life alongside incredible destruction. While they don’t get the attention of Canyonlands or the San Raphael, these places are near and dear to us and many other folks in Utah. From the sandstone cliffs of Main Canyon with their hidden bat caves, to the sweeping vistas of the Book Cliffs, this land deserves protection as much as any national park. And as part of the headwaters of the Colorado River as well as a massive source of carbon, our future is intertwined with its own.

Our 2015 Permanent Protest Vigil Has Launched!

Two weeks ago, tar sands resisters returned to the East Tavaputs Plateau to set up an ongoing protest vigil on the land leased for tar sands extraction. We came to witness, to document, to show people the land and inspire them to stand against tar sands, oil shale, and all extreme extraction.

We are now excited to tell the world that we’re back, and we’re not leaving until US Oil Sands gives up and goes home.

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In this remote area of the Book Cliffs, a start-up company called US Oil Sands has leased 32,000 acres of land managed by the School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration (SITLA) for tar sands mining. Based in Alberta, Canada, US Oil Sands is a striking example of how corporations pay no mind to the same borders through which regular people are so often denied access. The company says it plans to begin commercial production in late 2015.

Tar sands mining would turn this lush wilderness into a bleak moonscape of gray rubble. It would level the canyons teeming with life, and send toxins into the waterways that feed the Colorado River, which 40 million people rely on for survival. And because tar sands refining is an incredibly dirty process–even compared to refining of regular crude–it would also pump toxins into the air of people in Salt Lake City. All this would support the production of a low-grade fuel that would never even be feasible without heavy subsidies, because it takes much more energy to extract than regular crude.

UTSR Vigil 2Last year, our ongoing protest vigil lasted through US Oil Sands’ work season, from mid-May through late October. We hosted numerous groups and individuals at our public gatherings, giving people tours of the land and inviting them to become part of the popular resistance against tar sands mining and for a livable future.

We’re thrilled to be returning to the land we love so deeply. It’s a land with a rich history, part of the Uintah Ute Band’s homeland and their traditional hunting grounds. It’s a land filled with bears, cougars, coyotes, and countless other species. So far this year, we’ve seen deer, elk, turkeys, and a coyote. And lately, it’s been a land of rolling thunder and sudden downpours, but fortunately we spent last summer practicing our tarping skills. 

Please DONATE to this effort to help make our protest vigil a huge success!

Things seemed quiet on US Oil Sands’ work site at first, though we witnessed some activity this week. We know it’s awfully hard for those big machines to work on muddy ground–the East Tavaputs Plateau has been holding her own against the ongoing violence enacted against her.

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This vigil–and the many direct actions that various groups and individuals have taken against the tar sands mine–are necessary because we don’t seem likely to win this battle through the court system. On June 12, 2014, the EPA issued an order to US Oil Sands demanding that they gain additional permitting to deal with stormwater runoff before continuing with their project, because they are operating on an area deemed “Indian Country” under federal law. The company continued bulldozing, and nobody made them stop–that is, until 80 folks took direct action in July, shutting them down for a week. But during that action, the police worked to arrest the folks taking action and protect the company, paying no mind to the fact that they were operating illegally.

Living Rivers is pursuing a legal challenge to the mine. Their first case was dismissed on a technicality by the Utah Supreme Court in June 2014, but they recently filed another suit that cites more recent evidence of how US Oil Sands would pollute the watershed of the Green and Colorado Rivers. We fully support Living Rivers and believe this is necessary work, but we aren’t banking on the court system–and we hope you aren’t either.

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Back at the home front, we’ve been preparing for upcoming gatherings like the June 19-21 Intergeneration Campout. We look forward to sharing this summer and fall with new and old friends, witnessing all the plateau’s seasons along with the growth of our vibrant community of resistance. We hope to see you soon on the East Tavaputs Plateau!

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Please DONATE to this effort! Thank you for all of your help and support.