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Navajo government asks Biden to stop uranium transport across the Navajo Nation

The Navajo government has asked the Biden administration to stop uranium transportation across the vast Navajo Nation.

The resolution comes just ahead of the first transports of uranium from the Pinyon Plain Mine near the Grand Canyon. The mine is owned by Energy Fuels. The transports are expected to travel down from near the South Rim entrance of the national park to other highways in northern Arizona before they’re driven up to a Utah processing facility.

President Buu Nygren said a 2012 Navajo law restricts uranium transport across the reservation but it’s non-binding to U.S. highways.

"We’re hoping president Biden uses whatever authority he has to at least stop transportation across the Navajo Nation," Nygren said.

Curtis Moore, Energy Fuels's senior vice-president of marketing, said in a statement that the company is dedicated to upholding corporate responsibility and will clean up in the event of an ore spill. The company, he said, hauled ore across many of the same routes between 2007 and 2015 with no accidents.

Fronteras Desk senior editor Michel Marizco is an award-winning investigative reporter based in Flagstaff.