Water experts: Mining near Grand Canyon is risky

July 21, 2009 By JOAN LOWY , Associated Press Writer

(AP) -- Water experts are telling Congress that uranium mining near the Grand Canyon would court disaster.

Witnesses told a House panel Tuesday that the risk of polluting the Colorado River is high if is permitted. They want lawmakers to make permanent a decision announced this week by the Obama administration that temporarily bars the filing of new mining claims on nearly 1 million acres.

Hydrologist David Kreamer says it is "unreasonable" to believe uranium mining doesn't risk polluting streams and groundwater that feed the river.

Kay Brothers, the deputy general manager of a water utility, says if a mining disaster should occur, nearly all of Southern Nevada would be left without supplies.

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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