Group seeks review of Grand Canyon-area mining claims ban

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
FLAGSTAFF, AZ (AP) -

A mining industry group is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review an Obama-era ban on new mining claims around the Grand Canyon.

The petition filed Friday by the American Exploration and Mining Association comes as President Donald Trump's administration reviews a portion of the ban.

The Interior Department implemented the ban in 2012 over concern about possible water contamination.

A federal law gives the Interior secretary authority to withdraw land from mining claims for up to 20 years without congressional approval. A provision allowing a legislative veto has been deemed unconstitutional.

The industry group says the provision cannot be separated, and the entire law should be invalidated.

But lower courts have ruled that a severability clause in the law allows the withdrawal authority to stand on its own.

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