Three environmental groups filed a lawsuit against U.S. Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne for authorizing uranium exploration on 1 million acres of public land near the Grand Canyon.
The Center for Biological Diversity, the Grand Canyon Trust and the Western Mining Action Project filed the suit in U.S. District Court. Also named as defendants are the Department of the Interior and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.
The environmental groups say Kempthorne defied a House committee resolution protecting the land near the Grand Canyon from new uranium mining.
But an Interior official argued in a letter sent to the committee chairman that the resolution couldn't stand because the committee lacked a quorum.