Phoenix, AZ — Arizona’s Havasupai Tribe and a coalition of conservation groups are praising Judge David Campbell’s decision today to uphold the U.S. Department of the Interior’s 20-year ban on new uranium mining claims across one million acres of public lands adjacent to Grand Canyon. The court ruled that the decision complied with federal environmental laws and that it was not too large, as plaintiffs had argued. At stake is protecting the aquifers and streams that feed the Colorado River and Grand Canyon from toxic uranium mining waste and depletion.
Unable to get anywhere during 16 years of battling within the U.S. legal system, the Diné group on May 16 filed an appeal with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. For 16 years Eastern Navajo Diné Against Uranium Mining ENDAUM, represented by the New Mexico Environmental Law Center NMELC, has been fighting to overturn a mining license awarded to Hydro Resources Inc. HRI by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission NRC so as to avoid contaminating the drinking water of 15,000 people, the law center said in a press release.
Aboriginal leaders and opposition critics are slamming the response of Alberta agencies to the province’s largest oil spill in nearly four decades.
Residents of nearby First Nations communities say they didn’t get information soon enough and the government response to their complaints of widespread illness has been “disappointing.”
NDP environment critic Rachel Notley is calling for an investigation.
“When a community is saying: ‘My kids are coughing, my eyes are red, people are dizzy and have headaches,’ they shouldn’t have to wait six days for someone to respond to that -election or no election,” she said, referring to Monday’s federal vote.