Pinyon Plain Mine | Permit of Interest: Page 2 of 2

Current Activity | State Permitting

Following Energy Fuels Resources (USA) Inc.’s (EFRI’s) July 2019 request to renew its General Aquifer Protection Permit (APP) for the Canyon Mine (lined impoundment), ADEQ initiated an extensive, comprehensive review of related environmental studies and permits, including the United States Forest Service (USFS) EIS and ROD, USFS-approved facility Plan of Operations, engineering and hydrogeological reports, facility operations and inspections, ADEQ decisions, legal proceedings and public comments generated over the last 30 years. ADEQ professionals spent hundreds of hours conducting this comprehensive review.

ADEQ has determined that while the existing General APPs meet the requirements set forth in law, and additional groundwater protections are required by the USFS EIS and ROD, and USFS-approved facility Plan of Operations, an abundance of caution suggests that an Individual APP is prudent. An Individual APP will:

  • Contain all the environmental protection requirements of the three General APPs issued to the facility and consolidate them into one Individual APP,
  • Consolidate into the Individual APP all of the groundwater protection requirements contained in the existing USFS-approved facility Plan of Operations, which will result in the inclusion of additional conditions into the Individual APP, such as increased monitoring and clean closure requirements on final reclamation of the mine,
  • Consolidate the extensive data available for this facility from several sources into one hydrogeologic report,
  • Provide for the enforceability of the existing voluntary conditions, which were part of the General APPs for the lined impoundment and rock storage piles as well as the groundwater protections required by the USFS EIS and ROD, and USFS-approved facility Plan of Operations during operation and after final closure under one Individual APP, and
  • Include additional requirements for EFRI to conduct groundwater monitoring — both existing and planned — as well as any additional groundwater monitoring ADEQ deems necessary after reviewing the application.

To determine specific permit requirements, ADEQ carefully reviews all application elements, which includes a technical review of supporting documents. As part of the permitting process, ADEQ also:

  • Seeks and considers stakeholder and public input through offering tribal consultations, public review and comment on a draft permit and a public hearing, and
  • Prepares a responsiveness summary for public comments received.

If all rule requirements are met, ADEQ is required by law to issue the permit.

Mine Permitting | Overview & History

USFS - 1986 to present

USFS issued an EIS and ROD for the facility in 1986. The decision to issue the EIS was upheld in appeals and court cases. Additional facility history, court decision documents and related information are available on the USFS Canyon Uranium Mine webpage | View >

Learn More:

  • Arizona Permitting | View >
  • Frequently Asked Questions | View >