Court Won't Review Uranium Mining Permit

Albuquerque – A federal appeals court is refusing to review a ruling upholding a Nuclear Regulatory Commission decision that will allow a company to leach uranium at an aquifer that supplies drinking water for 15,000 Navajos in northwestern New Mexico.

An attorney for the Santa Fe-based Environmental Law Center, which represents mining opponents, says the center is looking at whether there are other legal options.

The 10th U.S. Court of Appeals on Tuesday denied the opponents' request for a rehearing.

A three-judge panel of the Denver court concluded in March that the NRC took the "hard look" required by the National Environmental Policy Act.

The court heard arguments in 2008 in what lawyers called the first-ever challenge to NRC approval of licenses for an in-situ uranium mining operation.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.