Media Advisory: Youth to Host Press Conference Demanding Participation in Grand Canyon Uranium Mine Process
For Immediate Release, November 15, 2013
Contact: Montana Johnson, NAU Against Uranium, (928) 265-6621 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Youth to Host Press Conference Demanding Participation in Grand Canyon Uranium Mine Process
Petition Targets Forest Service Refusal to Update 27-year old Environmental Impact Statement
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – NAU Against Uranium, a student group, will host a press conference in Flagstaff on November 21st where they will present a petition to the U.S. Forest Service requesting participation in a public review process for the “Canyon” uranium mine, located six miles south of Grand Canyon National Park. Students have asked Kaibab National Forest Supervisor Mike Williams to attend and accept the petition publicly.
More than 500 people born after 1986 have signed the petition. Though it’s within the agency’s authority to do so, the Forest Service has refused to update the uranium mine’s 1986 environmental review prior to allowing Energy Fuels to reopen it in April, thereby foreclosing public participation of petition signers and thousands of other young Americans.
The Forest Service claims there is no significant new information to warrant a new EIS, despite designation of the Red Butte Traditional Cultural Property in the area, the discovery of soil and water contamination at the nearby Orphan Mine, and a 2010 U.S. Geological Survey report showing uranium concentrations in groundwater beneath the mine exceeding federal drinking water standards. The mine threatens cultural values of the Havasupai and other tribes and contamination and depletion of aquifers feeding Grand Canyon springs.
Petition signers are asking the Forest Service to address intergenerational inequality. Their petition was started to spread awareness of the Canyon Mine and demand the Kaibab National Forest include their generation in the public process.
Last week, citing market conditions and ongoing litigation, Energy Fuels placed the Canyon Mine on “standby,” ceasing shaft excavation pending completion of litigation in federal district court. The last time the mine was placed in standby mode, in 1992, it remained so for 21 years.
WHERE: The Weatherford Hotel in Downtown Flagstaff, AZ. (Address: 23 N Leroux St, Flagstaff, AZ 86001, located on the SW corner of Aspen and Leroux)
WHEN: Thursday, November 21st, from 3:00-4:00 p.m.
WHAT: Students lead a media conference in Flagstaff to present a petition to Mike Williams, Kaibab Forest Service supervisor, to request inclusion in the public process and the ability to contribute to the EIS for Canyon Mine. The mine is planning to resume operations to extract uranium, under the authorization of the Kaibab National Forest, in spite of the 27-year period since the last EIS was drafted, ignoring recent scientific research.
VISUALS: Timeline of Canyon Mine history and student birthdays; petitions and postcards. Students will be available for interviews following the event.
WHO: NAU Against Uranium Mining, NAU students: Montana Johnson, Tommy Rock, Sienna Chapman, Heath Emerson; Flagstaff City Council Member Celia Barotz.