Stopping future blowouts from mine shafts is the toughest of the three goals.
Many mines pose the chronic problem of relentless pollution.
Berkes' voice was commonly heard on Colorado airwaves.
U.S. District Judge Brian Morris is presiding over a Thursday hearing on whether the moratorium should be reinstated.
Instead of a ghost town with an abandoned Main Street, you could find one that's nothing more than a barren stretch of land.
The mines are a legacy of the region's prospecting past, when almost anyone could dig a mine and then walk away, with little cleanup required.
Westmoreland Coal Co. has more than $1.4 billion in debt amid declining demand for the fuel.
All of the domestic uranium used in the Manhattan Project—about 14 percent—came from Grand Junction. The rest came from foreign countries.