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U.S. House Passes Grand Canyon Uranium Ban

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AP, file
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The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a conservation package called the Protecting America's Wilderness and Public Lands Act that includes a permanent ban on new uranium mining claims near Grand Canyon National Park.

Environmental groups and tribes have long fought for the Grand Canyon Protection Act and say it would protect water and the environment. In 2012, the Interior Department put a moratorium on new uranium claims for 20 years on more than a million acres near the national park. Arizona Congressman Raul Grijalva and other Democrats introduced the bill.

Republican Paul Gosar, a longtime critic of the protections, calls the measure "land grab."

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