The Downsides And Benefits Of Uranium Mining At The Grand Canyon

There is much controversy between environmental groups, mining companies, and state and federal government agencies regarding the effects of uranium mining at the Grand Canyon might have in the foreseeable future. On one aspect of the issue, those against mining procedures say it shall cause a decline in Grand Canyon tours, tourism jobs, angling, hunting, and animals watching, and the real variety of site visitors the nationwide park gets each year.

Each of the current operations brings millions of people and vast amounts of dollars of income for small businesses and the condition of Arizona annual. On the other side of the debate, those in support of expanded mining functions at the Grand Canyon discuss the increase in new careers, sales, profits, and taxes it would bring to Arizona.

In addition, the expanded mining operations result in a trickle-down impact where other businesses, like trucking firms and ore process facilities, reap the benefits of long-term agreements to provide essential services for mining companies. Further, the proposed task is for an interval of 42 years and would lead to several increased income sources, taxes, state severance taxes, claims payments and fees, state sales taxes, and property tax bases. However, proponents against extended mining operations feel these benefits aren’t worth the risks uranium mining poses for the multiple ecosystems found within the Grand Canyon, and the potential for polluting fresh drinking water products.

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Support for their cause has already been based on current uranium mining production and the effects it has already experienced on the Grand Canyon, like increased dissolved uranium concentrations in normal water exceeding safe levels. Not only would new mining operations increase pollution in the certain area but could potentially damage practical drinking water resources required by plant life, wildlife, and humans residing in the Grand Canyon area. These effects on the environment have a primary cause-effect relationship on tourism, hunting, fishing, and wildlife watching, producing a proclaimed decrease on the 42-calendar year period. Fewer and fewer people will want to visit the national park, let enjoy Grand Canyon helicopter trips by itself.

No one wants to watch out of the helicopter and find out uranium mines spread throughout the Grand Canyon. In 2009 2009, U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar put a temporary halt on extended uranium mining in the Grand Canyon until proper environmental impact studies could be completed. According to Earth Justice, in 2012, the main one million acres of land under safety was extended for twenty years further.

This extension was based on the research, scientists had already completed, and their estimate for completing a proper and accurate environment impact study of the Grand Canyon and its multiple ecosystems. However, there have been four mines exempt from the ban because they opened up during the 1980s. These four mines are able to start and stop procedures any time they desire as prices in uranium fluctuate. 15 million dollars just for the first phase of cleanup from the pollution and damage caused by the now-abandoned Orphan Mine.