Utah board backs 1st US oil sands project
By Paul Foy/AP on October 25, 2012
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah gave its final approval Wednesday for the nation’s first commercial tar sands project, handing a victory to a Canadian company that aims to start producing 2,000 barrels of oil next year in the start of what could grow into a much larger operation.
The Utah Water Quality Board upheld the decision of state regulators and turned back an appeal from a Moab-based environmental group that vows to take up its fight in the state courts.
Living Rivers has fought the project every step of the way, arguing that tar sands mining will contaminate groundwater in a largely undeveloped area of Utah’s Book Cliffs region that drains into the Colorado River.