Creating Our Legacy

The Black Hills Clean Water Alliance is a diverse collection of citizens concerned about the health, environmental, and economic impacts that irresponsible mining projects would have on our communities, people, economy, and natural resources. See our Partners.

BLOG: Here is what’s happening with us!


THIS NEW MAP SHOWS CLAIMS OF ONE GOLD COMPANY IN THE NORTHERN BLACK HILLS: ABOUT 42 SQUARE MILES IMPACTED. Map of some of Dakota Territory Resource Corp.’s gold claims in the Deadwood-Lead area.  The total area impacted is about 42 square miles — and they have staked more claims since this information was made available. …

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Watch our Magical Float in Action at the Festival of Lights Parade!

Join us to watch our magical float in action — A Water Protection Extravaganza! Saturday Night, Nov. 27 beginning at 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM in Downtown Rapid City. We’re excited to announce that the Rapid City Festival of Lights Parade is a GO this year (finally) and we’ll be there with Mni, the white…

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BHCWA’s Counsel, Mr. Bruce Ellison, gives a brief update on the Powertech case that was in front of the Water Management Board today. Powertech must wait until for Federal Permits.

We Sincerely Thank You for taking action – we are greatly pleased by the outcome. We had over 300 Sign-On letters sent to the WMB asking them to Deny Powertech’s request.

Now we must put pressure on the EPA. Please sign and share our petition them to Withdraw those water permits. We have close to 4,400 and counting. GO!

Older News!

EPA Grants Permits To Uranium Project in South Dakota

The Environmental Protection Agency is awarding permits for a proposed uranium mine in South Dakota.

But the mine, already about 15 years in the making, still faces more hurdles.

The proposed location is 13 miles northwest of Edgemont. That’s on the remote plains at the southwestern edge of the Black Hills, near the map dots of Dewey and Burdock.

The Black Hills Clean Water Alliance issued a statement Wednesday, opposing the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) issuance of Underground Injection Control and Safe Drinking Water Act aquifer exemption permits to Powertech (USA) Inc., Tuesday night.

More at: SD Public Broadcasting

BH Clean Water Alliance rejects EPA’s approval of Powertech mining permits

By Alex Portal, Black Hills Pioneer

The Black Hills Clean Water Alliance issued a statement Wednesday, opposing the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) issuance of Underground Injection Control and Safe Drinking Water Act aquifer exemption permits to Powertech (USA) Inc., Tuesday night.

More at

Act[tions] of Kindness for Grandmother Earth and her Mni.

Awareness Action – Jan. 8, 2020. Photo by Carla Rae Marshall.


UPDATE: 2/4/2020

Rapid City Passes Resolution

We applaud the six Rapid City Council members who vote against the 148 year old norm of this region. They braved the criticism from mining supporters in order to pass this resolution to protect the Rapid Creek Watershed and Pactola Reservoir from gold exploration and potential destructive and radioactive mining.

We thank you for taking this forward thinking stand to protect our water now, and for future generations.

On Feb. 3, 2020 Rapid City, the second largest city in South Dakota, which is downstream from gold exploration, just passed a resolution. The City Council voted 6 to 4 to oppose gold exploration and mining in the Rapid Creek watershed, which is the source of all its water. This is Good News! People are becoming more aware and, when they’re aware, they don’t want to be the target of the gold industry.

Thanks to all who made this possible, especially the City Council members who voted for the resolution — Laura Armstrong, Darla Drew, Ritchie Nordstrom, Lisa Modrick, Chad Lewis, and Bill Evans! Go to this page to send them a thank you note —

It was a tense night, and we need to let them know we appreciate them taking political heat for protecting our water. Which they have been doing.

Yes, a citizen can suggest a resolution in Rapid City, gather support, and get it passed. It was a great example of citizens working together to take successful action to protect their community from mining interests.

Read more on this epic decision in local news.

Take Action – Contact City Council members.  email them, send them a card, or give them a call and say thank you for passing this water protection resolution.  This is really important!  You can find their names, e-mails, and phone number at

Give Mayor Allender a chat at 394-4110 and ask him to support efforts to protect water.

Take Action – Let your family, friends and networks know about these meetings/actions. Encourage them to voice their concerns, also.

Take Action – Call the South Dakota guys on the HILL (Washington DC); Senior Senator John Thune, Junior Senator Mike Rounds, and Representative Dusty Johnson, At-Large, or check in with them at their local South Dakota offices.  Let them know to protect the environment not destroy it with environmental rollbacks and fast-tracking permits for the extraction industry.

Comments to the Forest Service on F3 Gold’s proposed exploration in the central Black Hills had now ended. Thank you for submitting your comment. Watch for updates.

ASLB Rules Against Oglala Sioux Tribe!

12/12/2019 -TODAY WE LEARNED: The Atomic Safety and Licensing Board (ASLB), an administrative law branch of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), ruled today in a case involving the proposed Dewey-Burdock uranium mine in the southwest Black Hills. The ASLB ruled for Powertech Uranium and the NRC staff and against the Oglala Sioux Tribe, which has fought long and hard to protect cultural resources at the proposed mine site.

This could leave important cultural resources unprotected, if the uranium company was to receive the 10 permits it would need to begin its project. Currently, the NRC license is the only permit the company has, and this decision is likely to be appealed. So the company is now a long way from being able to begin mining. But this does mean we must redouble our efforts to stop this mine. If you have not talked to the people and organizations around you about this issue in awhile, please do now. Let them know that every voice counts in protecting the water and opposing uranium mining in the Black Hills.

Advocates for Indigenous rights and for clean water in western South Dakota gathered on Friday, 12/13, at 4:30 PM to communicate their messages to passers-by.

Participants raised public awareness about the decision of the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board’s [ASLB] decision that an authentic, culturally-appropriate survey of a proposed uranium mine in Custer and Fall River Counties is not necessary.  The parties in the case include the Oglala Sioux Tribe, Powertech Uranium (Azarga), and Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff.

Powertech proposes to mine uranium at a site called Dewey-Burdock in the southwest Black Hills.  The Oglala Sioux Tribe asserts that such mining should not be contemplated without a thorough search for tribal cultural sites, and then a subsequent protection of those areas. 

The ASLB held hearings in Rapid City in August of this year to consider the Tribe’s claims.   The decision to deny the tribes’ rights to protection of their heritage and culture was announced Thursday, December 12.  It is anticipated that the ruling will be appealed.

Wyoming approves acid leach uranium mining – first one in the U.S.

Courtesy of Marty Two Bulls Sr., Oglala Lakota,

The State of Wyoming recently allowed the Strata uranium mine in the far northeastern part of the state to move forward using acid leaching. This is the first commercial use of acid leach for uranium mining in the United States. For more on the problems associated with acid uranium leaching, see the past announcement for the Jan. 2019 public comment period.

The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (WDEQ) formally approved an amendment to the Lance source materials license on 31 July, notifying Peninsula Energy Ltd subisidiary Strata Energy Inc the following day. The authorization confirms that low pH in-situ leach (ISL) methodology complies with the regulatory standards and requirements under the state regulator’s purview. [source:]




Urgent: Another gold exploration company has come to the Black Hills.


THE THREAT: It is named F3 GOLD EXPLORATION, working with Big Rock Exploration, and it is from Minnesota. … Read more

“Complex interactions between Rapid Creek and ground water occur between Pactola Reservoir and central Rapid City. Streamflow losses west of Rapid City recharge aquifers in the Madison Limestone and Minnelusa Formation, and artesian springflow from these aquifers occurs in several locations in Rapid City.”[1]  Download Research Paper to Learn more



Rivers at Risk: S.D. waterways serve as dumping grounds for human, industrial, ag wastes

This is the first in a series of stories by South Dakota News Watch on the status of South Dakota’s rivers.  Find additional stories, graphics, photographs and videos, at… read more

A struggle over a proposed uranium mine in the Black Hills of South Dakota — far from population centers —  … Read more

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