Friday, November 06, 2009

Interior Secretary reportedly flooded with anti-mining comments

The Colorado Independent online newspaper says Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar received 100,000 public comments last week calling for the permanent withdrawal of a million acres public lands in northern Arizona from new mining claims.

I know some of the news reports imply that mining would occur in the Grand Canyon, thus raising public concerns, but I was perplexed by the story. They don't provide any source for the number they quote. And BLM was soliciting comments on the scope of the 2-year long EIS, not on the decision about withdrawal itself, which is not supposed to be made until after the study is complete. Another confusing point is that the EIS is supposed to examine a 20-year withdrawal not a permanent one. [right, former uranium mine in northern Arizona. Credit, VANE Minerals]

Maybe the paper is reporting on some other public comment process than the one I know about.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous7:25 PM

    The newspaper is correct: 100,000 emails and letters favoring the Grand Canyon watersheds 20-year withdrawal were sent to BLM during the scoping process. Conservation groups tracked the number of comments sent by members of the public from their websites to BLM. Also, it should be noted that 100,000 is an incomplete tally -- not all groups reported, nor does it include withdrawal-supporting letters and emails sent to BLM otherwise. The actual number of supporters far exceeds that reported here, probably by many tens of thousands. That the uranium industry and federal government would risk aquifer depletion or contamination, or would industrialize wildlands flanking Grand Canyon, is unpopular with the American public... And research hydrogeologists. For good reason.