Opinion: Arizona issued a permit to the Pinyon Plain Mine, putting groundwater that flows through our homelands, including the Grand Canyon, at serious risk.
By Carletta Tilousi opinion contributor | Arizona Republic
The Pinyon Plain uranium mine sits fewer than 10 miles from Grand Canyon National Park on the ancestral homelands of my people, the Havasupai, the “people of the blue-green water.”
As the guardians of the Grand Canyon, we are fighting to protect our sacred lands and waters against harm that federal and state agencies continue to permit.
The Biden administration has promised to prioritize environmental justice and listen to Indigenous voices. Yet it is considering moving forward with a uranium reserve program that would use taxpayer dollars to buy uranium from operations like the Pinyon Plain Mine.
Mine got a permit, despite groundwater risks
Mining companies and politicians have recently capitalized on the horrors of war in Ukraine and the shift away from fossil fuels as reasons to mine more uranium in the United States. But there is little acknowledgment that uranium production disproportionately harms Indigenous communities like ours.
Just last month, the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality issued Pinyon Plain Mine a permit, despite risks to groundwater that flows through our homelands, including the Grand Canyon.
Insufficient protection? Critics say feds failed to protect creek from mining