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Judge overturns uranium mine permit

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SANTA FE (AP) — A lawyer for environmental groups say a Santa Fe judge has overturned a decision by Gov. Susana Martinez’s administration granting a permit for a uranium mine to remain inactive without any cleanup.

Eric Jantz of the New Mexico Environmental Law Center said District Judge Raymond Ortiz’s decision on Monday will send the case back to the state Mining and Minerals Division for further public hearings.

The agency renewed a standby permit last year for Rio Grande Resources’ Mount Taylor mine near Grants.

The judge ruled Amigos Bravos and the Multicultural Alliance for a Safe Environment weren’t adequately allowed to raise issues about protecting ground water from contamination from mining waste piles. The judge also said the agency wrongly kept a company report confidential on the mine’s economic viability.

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