REFERENCE TITLE: Grand Canyon; uranium mining; opposing
State of Arizona
First Regular Session
Senators Mendez: Dalessandro, Peshlakai, Quezada; Representatives Jermaine, Longdon, Rodriguez, Salman
A CONCURRENT MEMORIAL
urging the President of the United States, the united states Congress and other federal entities to protect the grand canyon area from uranium mining.
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To the President of the United States of America, the Secretary of the United States Department of the Interior, the Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the Congress of the United States:
Your memorialist respectfully represents:
Whereas, the Grand Canyon is one of 23 World Heritage Sites in the United States; and
Whereas, according to the National Park Service, 6.2 million visitors to the Grand Canyon spent an estimated $667 million in 2017; and
Whereas, nearly 10,000 jobs are supported by tourism to Grand Canyon National Park; and
Whereas, the Grand Canyon is the second-most visited national park in the country; and
Whereas, the Grand Canyon is home to five major ecosystems and has been designated as a globally important bird area to recognize the important role the park plays in protecting hundreds of bird species; and
Whereas, in December 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit upheld a 20-year ban on uranium mining around Grand Canyon National Park; and
Whereas, the United States Geological Survey found radioactive dust several hundred feet from the Kanab North Mine site. The dust contained more than 10 times the background concentration for uranium. Likewise, 15 springs and five wells near uranium mines in the Grand Canyon's watersheds have dissolved uranium present in them; and
Whereas, uranium mining, processing and reclamation have the potential to affect surface water quality and quantity; and
Whereas, extreme natural events such as intense rainfall events or drought could lead to the release of contaminants if facilities are not designed to withstand such events; and
Whereas, more than 500 abandoned uranium mines on the Navajo Nation have resulted in the contamination of drinking water sources on the Navajo Nation; and
Whereas, potential health effects from uranium mining include lung cancer from inhalation of radioactive particles, as well as bone cancer and impaired kidney function from exposure to radionuclides in drinking water.
Wherefore your memorialist, the Senate of the State of Arizona, the House of Representatives concurring, prays:
1. That the United States Congress take immediate steps to permanently prohibit the destructive resource extraction of uranium on public lands surrounding Grand Canyon National Park and to protect this state's natural resources.
2. That the Secretary of the United States Department of the Interior and the President of the United States keep intact the mineral withdrawal and permanently protect the lands by creating a national monument surrounding Grand Canyon National Park.
3. That the Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency act expeditiously to clean up abandoned mines on the Navajo Nation and ensure that its residents have access to quality drinking water.
4. That the Secretary of State of the State of Arizona transmit copies of this Memorial to the President of the United States of America, the Secretary of the United States Department of the Interior, the Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the President of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives and each Member of Congress from the State of Arizona.