10th Circuit split on uranium activity on Navajo Nation
A split decision of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday upheld a federal permit for uranium activity on land held in trust for the Navajo Nation and on land near the reservation.

Eastern Dine Against Uranium Mining, the Southwest Research and Information Center and two ranchers sued the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for approving a permit that allows Hydro Resources Inc. to leach uranium near two Navajo communities in New Mexico. The plaintiffs say the activity will poison the supply of drinking water.

Two judges on the 10th Circuit said the NRC adequately reviewed the impact of the project. But a third judge said it was clear the activity with "unjustifiably compromise the health and safety of the people" who live in the area.

Separately, the 10th Circuit is rehearing a case in which Uranium Resources Inc, the owner of Hydro Resources Inc., is challenging the Indian Country status of land where the company wants to develop a uranium mine.

Get the Story:
Court denies review of uranium mining permit in NM (AP 3/9)

10th Circuit Decision:
Morris v. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (March 8, 2010)

Related 10th Circuit Decision:
Hydro Resources v. US (April 17, 2009)

Related Stories:
10th Circuit will hear Indian Country case again (8/25)
Mining company weighs move in Indian Country case (4/23)
10th Circuit rules in Indian Country status case (4/20)
Navajos sue to stop uranium mine in New Mexico (2/13)
Indian Country ruling a victory for Navajo Nation (3/1)