Associated Press – GRANTS — Environmentalists are seeking to keep an idle uranium mine in western New Mexico from becoming active again, saying the designation will allow it to delay cleanup.
The Multicultural Alliance for a Safe Environment and Amigos Bravos are asking the New Mexico Mining Commission to review a recent decision by state Mining and Minerals Division Director Fernando Martinez to allow the Mount Taylor mine to return to “active,” or operational, status, the Gallup Independent reports.
The groups say there is no realistic likelihood that mining will take place for the foreseeable future.
“The director’s decision directly contradicts the New Mexico Mining Act’s plain language, which restricts ‘operational’ mines to those that are producing minerals,” said Eric Jantz, staff attorney at the New Mexico Environmental Law Center, which is representing the groups.
“The director has unilaterally created an entirely new category of mine activity — ‘zombie mines’ — that have been given new life in an effort to avoid cleanup.”
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