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Arizona officials hold hearings on mining permits

A water truck sprays the ground near the processing centers of the Vulcan Materials plant south of Bell Road and west of 115th Avenue in Surprise, Ariz. Oct. 29, 2010. Water keeps dust from floating into the air and polluting nearby neighborhoods. Misters, seen in the upper left of this photo, also help keep particulate matter from escaping the plant. Friday, Oct. 29, 2010. (AP Photo/Daily News-Sun, Dave Martinez)

A water truck sprays the ground near the processing centers of the Vulcan Materials plant south of Bell Road and west of 115th Avenue in Surprise, Ariz. Oct. 29, 2010. Water keeps dust from floating into the air and polluting nearby neighborhoods. Misters, seen in the upper left of this photo, also help keep particulate matter from escaping the plant. Friday, Oct. 29, 2010. (AP Photo/Daily News-Sun, Dave Martinez)

State 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.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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