The U.S. Department of the Interior Jan. 9 placed a 20-year moratorium on new uranium mining in federal land near the Grand Canyon.
The ban prevents new uranium mining claims but does not stop projects that have already been approved or have existing mining rights, according to The Hill. The ban will reportedly allow scientists to monitor the effect of uranium mining on water quality, Interior said.
The Interior’s Bureau of Land Management reportedly said that 11 uranium mines will be able to operate under the ban. BLM estimates there would have been 30 mines in the region in the next 20 years without the ban.
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