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Without a Paddle: U.S. Law Powerless to Protect Colorado River From Mining

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Publication Date: May 2008

Publisher(s): Environmental Working Group

Author(s): Dusty Horwitt

Topic: Environment (Mining and mineral resources)
Environment (Water, waterways, and water management)

Keywords: uranium; gold; Colorado River


Record prices for uranium, gold and other metals are sparking a surge in mining claims that threaten the Colorado River, a source of drinking water for 25 million Americans and the lifeblood of Western agriculture.
An Environmental Working Group investigation found that claims within 10 miles of the Colorado more than doubled in 5 years. But the nation's antiquated mining law leaves federal officials virtually powerless to protect the West's iconic river from the contaminated runoff, mountains of waste and ravaged landscapes hardrock mining leaves behind.


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