October 29, 2019 Press Releases

Mark Kelly supports proposal to protect Grand Canyon region from uranium mining


Today, U.S. Senate Candidate Mark Kelly expressed his support for Rep. Grijalva and Rep. O’Halleran’s proposal to protect the Grand Canyon area from uranium mining. The proposal is expected to receive a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives this week.

In May, Kelly told the Arizona Daily Sun in Flagstaff that he did not support uranium mining near the Grand Canyon, and has reiterated that position amid signals from the administration that they could move to open up uranium mining on protected land.

“The Grand Canyon is a treasure not just for Arizona, but for the planet, and we should continue to protect this area from uranium mining,” said Mark Kelly. “Mining is part of our state’s economy and culture, and it must always be done safely with public health and the public interest in mind.” 

Kelly concluded, “Northern Arizona is still contending with the public health impact of abandoned uranium mines, and the federal government should be focused on cleaning up those sites.”

The recoverable uranium in the protected area includes less than one percent of domestic uranium reserves, according to USGS. There are more than 500 abandoned uranium mines on the Navajo Nation, and a recent study found elevated levels of radiation in Navajo women. Mark Kelly has visited that Navajo Nation twice as a candidate, and discussed abandoned uranium mines and public health concerns with Navajo leadership.