U.S. court upholds Grand Canyon uranium mining ban, but allows mine nearby – by Valerie Volcovici (Globe and Mail/Reuters – December 12, 2017)


A U.S. federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld a lower-court ruling keeping a ban on uranium mining around the Grand Canyon, but also upheld a separate decision allowing a uranium mine nearby to open.

The decisions by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, related to cases argued last December, come as Congress and the Trump administration seek to expand mineral extraction on public lands.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture last month proposed lifting the Obama-era mining ban on land near Grand Canyon National Park, an area of natural beauty in the western United States that also historically served a number of uranium mines.

Earlier this month, President Donald Trump reduced the size of the nearby Bears Ears National Monument in Utah by 85 per cent. That decision came after lobbying by the uranium mining industry, the Washington Post reported.

The National Mining Association had sought to upend the 20-year moratorium on new uranium mines near the Grand Canyon, which was put in place in 2012 by President Barack Obama’s administration. But the court ruled that the ban should stay in place.

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