The EPA made the request Tuesday and Goliad County Groundwater Conservation District Chairman Raulie Irwin said Friday the request was granted.
“The extension is an indication that the EPA is taking the review period seriously," Irwin said. "Obviously, this is better than them rubber-stamping the approval. The request for an extension has been granted by the court.”According to the request, the EPA claimed it "cannot complete all of the tasks identified in its remand motion" by the deadline.
The EPA was granted a remand by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in January to review new information from the public on the in-situ uranium mining in Goliad County and review its original grant of an aquifer exemption to Uranium Energy Corp.
No action had been taken by Tuesday night.
The aquifer exemption remains effective during the review period allowing UEC to continue its mining.
"The EPA conducted an extensive and rigorous review before concurring with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s (TCEQ) earlier decision to approve the Goliad aquifer exemption," UES spokesperson Matt Welch said in a statement to the Advance-Guard on Friday. "In an effort to allow for more public input and provide a thorough administrative record, the EPA has sought additional time, which is a common practice for a federal agency. We have seen no new information presented that would change the EPA’s original decision to issue the aquifer exemption. Our Goliad Project is fully permitted for production and continues to advance as planned.”
The EPA said new issues had been raised during the original 60-day public comment period. The EPA hosted a public forum in February in Victoria, where approximately 150 area residents were in attendance.
More on this story coming to mySouTex.com.