There will be no new uranium mines on more than one million acres of federal land surrounding the Grand Canyon for the next 20 years, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced today.
Secretary Salazar signed a Record of Decision today during a ceremony held at the National Geographic Museum in Washington, DC, extending the current moratorium on new uranium mining claims.
The Public Land Order to withdraw these acres for 20 years from new mining claims and sites under the 1872 Mining Law, subject to valid existing rights, is authorized by the Federal Land Policy and Management Act.
Companies seeking to exploit public resources for profits are among the losers in this withdrawal. Under the 1872 Mining Law, mining companies are not required to pay royalties to the public for the mineral resources that they extract, although taxpayers can be left to pay for environmental cleanups after the mines are closed.
Without the withdrawal, there could be 30 uranium mines in the area over the next 20 years, including the four that are currently approved, with as many as six operating at one time, the agency’s Final Environmental Impact Statement estimates.
Source: ENS Newswire