“The Madison and Minnelusa aquifers are two of the most important aquifers in the Black Hills – USGS …. read more.
GROUPS WORK TOGETHER TO OPPOSE GOLD DRILLING
BLACK HILLS, SD: Three Black Hills organizations have banded together to oppose exploratory drilling for gold in the central Black Hills. The proposed drilling would take place south of Rochford in the areas of Rapid Creek, Castle Creek, Reynolds Prairie (Pe’ Sla), and Bloody Gulch. The three organizations are Save Rochford and Rapid Creek (SRRC), Dakota Rural Action (DRA), and Clean Water Alliance (CWA).
“It seems puzzling to us that Mineral Mountain Resources, a foreign company, can pull 1.8 million gallons of water from Rapid Creek and Castle Creek, and use it for nearly free, while Rapid City residents are seeing their water bills rise significantly,“ said Carol Hayse, a member of SRRC. “Everyone who gets water from Rapid Creek, which includes Rapid City, should be concerned about this proposal,” added Gena Parkhurst, a Rapid City resident and member of the Black Hills Chapter of DRA. … read more
WE’VE STOPPED URANIUM MINING BEFORE, WE CAN DO IT AGAIN!
BHA bumper sticker from 1980.
URANIUM MINING IS BAD.
WHAT IS URANIUM?
Uranium is a naturally-occurring element. It generally poses no danger when it is left in the ground. However, when it is brought to the surface and concentrated, it emits dangerous levels of radiation. Once uranium begins to emit radiation, it breaks down into other heavy metals in a process that cannot be stopped and lasts millions of years.
We’ve held Azarga/Powertech Uranium off since 2010 with the help of many dedicated volunteers, grassroots allies, expert witnesses, and tribal historical preservation officers. Through these combined efforts we have intervened through the legal channels to prevent this toxic uranium mining from contaminating our water.
The Azarga/Powertech Uranium now plans to drill 4,000 in situ leach mining wells. The original plan was to drill 1,500. These toxic wells would be drilled into the Inyan Kara aquifer on the southwest edge of the Black Hills, which is used by families for their drinking water. After mining, the company’s plan is to pump uranium mining wastes back underground into the Minnelusa aquifer through as many as four deep disposal wells. However, there are several other precious aquifers that the company has listed to be tested; Unkpapa/Sundance, Fall River, Minnekahta Limestone, and the Chilson (or Lakota). This is unacceptable. We can’t sit idle on this issue.
Thank You – Pilamayaye!
BHCWA wish to thank everyone who took action during this recent EPA public comment period regarding the draft permits on the proposed ISL uranium mine. The last we heard there were over 5,000 comments sent to the EPA! Our unofficial calculation is that over 95% of those comments said “NO URANIUM MINING IN THE BLACK HILLS!
Now we must wait for the EPA’s decision. We will continue to provide updates here on our website and on our Facebook page.
Pilamayaye. Mni Wiconi. Water Is Life.
ACTION EVENTS – A GREAT SUCCESS
Allies and organizations joined forces to tell the EPA NO URANIUM MINING.
5-23-2017 UPDATE: There were five public comment hearings before the Environmental Protection Agency between April 27 and May 11, 2017. The hearings were designed to gather input on the EPA’s draft permits to allow a company to mine uranium in one groundwater aquifer (the Inyan Kara) and to dispose of the wastes using wells drilled into another aquifer (the Minnelusa). The proposal would involve drilling 4,000 wells for mining purposes, and four to dispose of mining wastes. The hearings were held at Valentine, NE., and at Rapid City, Hot Springs, and Edgemont in South Dakota.
In all, at least 700 people from all walks of life attended the hearings, and 212 people gave public comments. Of the 212 people who gave public comments, 197 of them (93%) spoke against the proposed uranium mine and deep waste disposal wells. It was very clear that we don’t want uranium mining or waste disposal in our groundwater — or anywhere in the Black Hills!
People who commented covered a wide variety of topics. A lot of people talked about protecting the water — some from the heart and some in technical terms. “Mni Wiconi” was heard throughout the meeting halls. Others talked about the need to respect treaty rights, about protection of significant cultural sites, or about the need to protect our ranching and tourism economy. Some expressed concerns about the potential use of the deep waste disposal wells, which could be used even if the mine didn’t go forward. Others talked about the potential health impacts or about the use of uranium for nuclear power or nuclear weapons. Many people covered other topics or more than one of these topics.
Thanks to everyone who attended and everyone who cooked, marched, and spoke! Now it is important that everyone who cares about this issue sits down and writes a brief comment opposing the mining and disposal wells. For more information on where to send your comment and what to say go to our Take Action page. The deadline has been extended to June 19, 2017. Allow plenty of time for fax (by noon) or e-mails (by 5:00 pm) to go through. If you mail your comment, it must be postmarked by June 19. Thanks for doing your part to protect the Black Hills, our water, our economy, and our health. TAKE ACTION NOW! The Environmental Protect Agency is seeking Public Comments on the permitting process for Azarga/Powertech in the Dewey-Burdock area of Fall River and Custer counties.
This comment period are for the Class III and Class V Injection Well Draft Area Permits and must be received by midnight on June 19, 2017.
Some Brief History:
All mining companies use the 1872 General Mining Law to gain access to mineral mining. Anyone can pay a small fee and stake a claim on federal lands. The claim-holder has an absolute right to mine under the law, and — even worse — they don’t have to pay any federal royalties.
Honor the Treaties and the National Historic Preservation Act.
The National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) (Public Law 89-665; 54 U.S.C. 300101 et seq.) is legislation intended to preserve historical and archaeological sites in the United States of America.
Under the 1851 Ft. Laramie Treaty the U.S. Government is mandated to consult with tribal government as Government to Government Relations. This includes following NHPA rules and regulations with the tribes. However, South Dakota and federal agencies involved in permitting this uranium mining have continuously ignored tribal nations and their expert testimony regarding cultural properties and sacred sites in the target area.
The Treaties are the supreme law of the land according to the U.S. Supreme Court decision. But that hasn’t stopped mining corporations and unethical politicians from bulldozing through to get what they want. It’s time to hold the U.S. Government’s accountable for threatening our water supply.
There are 167 old uranium mines and prospects in the southern Black Hills.
The federal Department of Energy is collecting comments on abandoned uranium mines.
Click here and provide your input (once on the DOE site there is a link in the top right corner where you can file your comments.)