Uranium in the Four Corners Essay

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Not since the 1980's has a recent surge of uranium mining claims occured in the Four Corners region. Energy Fuel Resources Inc. has placed its Canyon Mine on standby and expects to resume shaft sinking operations December of next year, when an official court ruling is made and depending on market conditions. Earlier this year the Havasupai Tribe and a coalition of conservation groups sued the United States Forest Service for allowing Energy Fuel Resources Inc. to operate a mine under a 1986 federal environmental review without tribal consultation. The Canyon mine was previously in non-operational status due to low uranium stock prices in 1992. Opponents of the uranium mining operation want the federal environmental review updated and…show more content…
All water is evaporated according to Moore, including rain and snowfall, but opponents of the mining proposition fear the potential impact uranium could have, claiming that radioactive levels tend to be above the natural background. Bahr argues that the aquifer protection permit is essentially a general permit that minimally enforces monitoring and groundwater protection. Referring to mining industry claims that these sites have minimal surface disturbance Bahr states, “It is blight upon the land… but it doesn’t take much for contamination.” Conservation groups argue that irreversible damage to important waters like Havasu Creek will occur if radioactive contaminants reach the groundwater that supply springs and seeps in the Grand Canyon. In addition to environmental concerns, opponents argue that government regulation is too lax and as Bahr states, “It is all too easy to mine on public lands and the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management have made it extremely easy to validate claims.” Although uranium miners recognize federal obligations to reclaim operation sites Roger Clark, Grand Canyon Program
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