Coalition urges halt to uranium mining near Grand Canyon

Feb 1, 2024

coalition made up of 80 conservation and faith groups, Tribes, and scientists are imploring the Biden administration and Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs to halt production at a uranium mine located just 7 miles south of Grand Canyon National Park. The Pinyon Plain mine began operating in January and is within the 1.1-million-acre Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni – Ancestral Footprints of the Grand Canyon National Monument.

Like most monument proclamations since 1996, the designation carved out protections for valid, existing rights, including those for the Pinyon Plain mine. Energy Fuels, which owns and operates the mine, insists its rights are valid. The mine covers 17 acres within the Kaibab National Forest, and was first permitted by the U.S. Forest Service in 1986.

The coalition argues that the Pinyon Plain mine poses an ongoing threat to local waterways in the Grand Canyon watershed and called on Governor Hobbs in a letter Monday to rescind a state-approved water permit for the mine. The groups are also calling on the Forest Service to conduct a new environmental impact statement for the Pinyon Plain mine using new research that considers the input of local Tribes. “State and federal mine approvals, since the outdated, but still-in-force 1986 Environmental Impact Statement, have consistently favored mining over public interests,” the groups wrote in their letter.

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America is a great Nation because we choose to learn the good, the bad, and the full truth of the history of our country — histories and truths that we must preserve and protect for the next generation. This National Black History Month, as we remember where we have been, may we also recognize that our only way forward is by marching together.”

—President Joe Biden’s Proclamation on National Black History Month

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