Arizona and Utah officials are asking US President Donald Trump to end a 20-year ban on uranium mining near the Grand Canyon, which came into effect in 2012 as part of a set of environmental protection rules passed during the Obama administration.
They are also pushing for the abolishment of national monument designations in Arizona, such as Grand Canyon-Parashant and Vermillion Cliffs. They argue those nominations have limited coal, natural gas and oil production in the area, severely hurting the local economy, Knau Arizona Public Radio reports.
Miners and other groups with a stake in the sector have long argued the US Department of the Interior erred in its decision to ban new attempts to extract uranium from public land near the national park.
According to them, such prohibition was based on “overly cautious,” speculative environmental risks. But supporters of the ban say new mining activity will likely boost the risk of uranium-contaminated water flowing into the Canyon.
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