The Associated Press December 7, 2010, 10:56AM ET

Arizona officials hold hearings on mining permits

Arizona officials are accepting public comment on proposed air permits for three uranium mines near the Grand Canyon.

Denison Mines Corp. is seeking the permits from the state Department of Environmental Quality for its Pinenut, EZ and Canyon mines. The mining company already operates one uranium mine on federal land north of the Grand Canyon's border.

State officials are holding a public meeting on the proposed permits at Fredonia High School on Dec. 14. Two other meetings are scheduled in Flagstaff and Fredonia in January.

Environmental groups and tribes have fought to keep the area off-limits to new mining, saying it could harm wildlife and deplete or contaminate aquifers that feed seeps and springs in the Grand Canyon.

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