Comment Deadline: January 14th
Denison Mines Corp., a Canadian corporation has submitted water and air quality permit applications to the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) in an attempt to operate uranium mines near the Grand Canyon.
Not only do these mines directly threaten the Ecoregion of the Grand Canyon, they further corporate attacks on community health, environment and sacred places.
These mines include the currently operating Arizona 1 Mine and the proposed Pinenut and EZ mines north of the Grand Canyon and the proposed Canyon Mine on the south rim near Red Butte, a site held holy by the Havasupai Nation.
The legacy of uranium mining in the region has been so harmful that the Dine’ (Navajo), Hualapai, and Havasupai Nations have all banned uranium mining and activity on their lands.
US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has documented well water as undrinkable in at least 22 communities on the Dine’ Nation. The EPA states that, “Approximately 30 percent of the Navajo population does not have access to a public drinking water system and may be using unregulated water sources with uranium contamination.”
The Colorado river which, flows through the Grand Canyon, supplies water for drinking and agricultural use for up to 27 million people.
If all the permits are allowed, up to 12 trucks per day would haul uranium ore from each of the mines to a processing mill in Blanding, Utah.
The haul routes would take uranium ore from the various mines through the communities of Fredonia, Kanab, Williams, Flagstaff, Cameron, Tuba City, and Kayenta.
The ADEQ air quality permits and Department of Transportation regulations would merely require Denison to “cover the haul truck loads with a tarp and maintain the truck beds to ensure that ore does not fall out.” (ADEQ Denison Mines Permitting and Uranium Mining Facts, Questions & Answers November 2010)
Although environmental groups have successfully lobbied the US Secretary of Interior to suspend new uranium claims in a 5 mile buffer zone near the Grand Canyon, the suspension does not include pre-existing claims such as Denison’s.
Today there estimated to be more than 8,000 applications for uranium mining operations in the Grand Canyon region.
TAKE ACTION NOW!
Deadline for public comments is January 14th at 5pm
Send your comments to Arizona Department Of Environmental Quality
For more info call toll free: 1800-234-5677
Printed materials including draft permits: http://www.azdeq.gov/environ/air/permits/denison.html
Additional information and action:
Center for Biological Diversity’s info and online comment letter: http://action.biologicaldiversity.org/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=5430
Sierra Club’s info and online comment form: https://secure2.convio.net/sierra/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=5411
Info from the Grand Canyon Trust: http://www.grandcanyontrust.org/news/2010/12/publci-comment-sought-on-uranium-mining-plans-near-grand-canyon/
Arizona Daily Sun Article: Uranium foes: Where’s the benefit?