In November 2020, Energy Fuels changed the name of one of its uranium mines from “Canyon Mine” to “Pinyon Plain Mine” in order to put distance between the mine and its historical controversies. However, changing the name does not change the potential harm the mine can cause. Canyon Mine sits fifteen miles from the rim of the Grand Canyon and is built on land sacred to the nearby Havasupai Tribe. The mine stands to not only destroy the health and well-being of the Havasupai people by contaminating their water supply with radioactive elements, but also to destroy the sacred ties the Havasupai Tribe holds to the land. The mine lies above the Redwall-Muav Aquifer, the same aquifer that feeds Havasu Creek – the Havasupai Tribe’s sole source of water. The Havasupai Tribe has opposed the mine since its first permit in 1978 and continues to do so. This article will examine Canyon Mine and its connection to the Havasupai people, the potential adverse effects of the mine on the Havasupai Tribe, and potential domestic legal solutions and actions that the Tribe could pursue in order to stop the mine from operating.
Recommended CitationKasha Halbleib, Examining Uranium Mining in the Canyon Mine, 40 Pace Envtl. L. Rev. 104 (2023)
Available at: https://digitalcommons.pace.edu/pelr/vol40/iss2/4