Environmentalists push for ban on mining near rivers

The U.S. Department of Energy has agreed to clean up some 16 million tons of uranium waste from a mine along the Colorado River in Utah, but environmentalists say the problem will only get worse if the federal government continues to approve mining permits near rivers. Although the Colorado River supplies drinking water to 25 million people in seven states, applications for hard-rock mining near the river have soared recently along with the price of metals. Mining companies note that operations are strictly regulated and that more than half of all federal lands already are closed to mining.

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