Officials in Coconino County, Ariz., voted Tuesday to try to block any potential uranium mines immediately north and south of the national park, The New York Times reported. The newspaper said the discovery of rich uranium deposits by British mining company Vane Minerals could lead to lead to the first mines near the canyon in decades.
Deb Hill, chairwoman of the Coconino County Board of Supervisors said the board's decision was based on knowledge of the cancers suffered by former uranium workers and their families on a nearby Navajo reservation, as well as concern about environmental and safety risks from a mining operation.
"We have a legacy, which isn't too good, from the uranium mining in the past," Hill told the newspaper.
Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]