UEC took possession of the Mount Lucas project in December 2009 as part of an acquisition of assets and liabilities from a previous owner. In the time that followed, the company worked closely with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to meet stringent criteria and ensure the radium contamination levels were reduced to levels protective of human health and the environment, according to a news release.
Last month, the state of Texas released the Mount Lucas uranium mining and reclamation project to unrestricted use, giving the Cartwright family back their land and restoring the environment in a way that would allow for crop production, animal grazing and recreation for the first time in many years, according to a news release issued by Uranium Energy Corp.
UEC leadership believed the Cartwrights had “suffered too long as a result of neglect on the part of the project’s prior ownership,” and chose to prioritize the Mount Lucas project, working swiftly to complete surface reclamation in 11 months, the news release shows.
In providing clearance to the TCEQ to release Mount Lucas to unrestricted use, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission noted that the site’s wells had been closed and plugged, all radiologically contaminated materials had been properly disposed of and that the groundwater had been adequately restored to meet applicable standards and requirements, according to the release.
The ranch has been owned and operated by multiple generations of the Cartwright family for more than 100 years.
Spanning almost 15,000 acres adjacent to Lake Corpus Christi, it is full of mesquite trees, Texas sage and all forms of wildlife. There, the Cartwright family raises cattle and sheep, farms grass and hosts numerous hunting, bird watching and photography events.
“The Cartwrights will enjoy that land because of the extraordinary efforts and commitment of Uranium Energy Corp., which took on the significant burden of the Mount Lucas reclamation effort with the goal of restoring the land, returning it to its rightful owners and demonstrating its commitment to the community and the environment,” Craig Wall, environmental health and safety manager for UEC, explained in the release.