PRESCOTT, ARIZ. (CN) – Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne allows more than 1,100 uranium mines to operate on more than 1 million federal acres near the Grand Canyon, in defiance of a June 25 emergency resolution from the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources, the Center for Biological Diversity claims in Federal Court.
The Grand Canyon Watersheds Protection Act was introduced in Congress on March 17. It would permanently bar uranium mining on the 1 million acres of federal land near Grand Canyon National Park.
The House Committee on Natural Resources issued the emergency resolution to withdraw the land from mining for no more than three years.
Two days later, The U.S. Bureau of Land Management, a creature under Kempthorne’s control, issued a letter allowing uranium mining to proceed in the area. Plaintiffs want the uranium mining stopped. Joining the Center for Biological Diversity as plaintiffs are the Grand Canyon Trust and the Sierra Club. Their lead counsel is Mark Fink with the NRDC of Duluth, Minn.