Uranium Mining near Grand Canyon Permanently Blocked
The US House of Representatives voted last week to permanently outlaw new uranium mining on about 1 million acres around the Grand Canyon. The bill would
The US House of Representatives voted last week to permanently outlaw new uranium mining on about 1 million acres around the Grand Canyon. The bill would make permanent a temporary ban on new mining in the region that the Obama administration put in place in 2012. The bill, called the Grand Canyon Protection Act, was passed as part of a package of legislation aimed at protecting wilderness and public lands. Other provisions include protecting nearly 1.5 million acres of public lands as wilderness and designating more than 1,000 miles of rivers as part of the nation’s Wild and Scenic Rivers. Supporters say those would be significant steps toward President Biden’s goal of conserving at least 30 percent of the nation’s lands and waters by 2030 to help address the climate crisis.
The measure has previously been debated in Congress and failed to advance in the Senate in 2019.
The bill is strongly supported by tribes and environmental groups, who say prohibiting new mining claims on public lands surrounding Grand Canyon National Park would safeguard the drinking water of tribal communities and protect the Colorado River watershed.
Since its establishment in the 1980s, Canyon Mine, which is operated by Energy Fuels Resources, has yet to produce any uranium ore.