The House Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow on whether to end a uranium mining ban near the Grand Canyon. KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius reports, it follows a recent U.S. Forest Service recommendation to reopen exploration on nearly a million acres.
Havasupai Councilwoman Carletta Tilousi will testify at the hearing along with representatives from the U.S. Geological Survey, Department of Defense, and the National Mining Association.
President Trump earlier this year ordered federal agencies to propose ways of increasing domestic energy production on public lands. A Department of Agriculture report last month listed overturning the uranium ban near the Grand Canyon as one of several options.
In 2012, then-Interior Secretary Ken Salazar banned new uranium claims for 20 years. Tribal officials and environmental groups worry the mining could pollute area groundwater and the Colorado River, and threaten public health and the Canyon’s ecology.