(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 mining 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 Nevada water utility, says if a mining disaster should occur, nearly all of Southern Nevada would be left without water supplies.
©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Explore further: Local action needed to protect nature from global warming