Federal Atomic Safety and Licensing Board Hearing scheduled

Hearing scheduled to begin Aug. 28th in Rapid City, SD


The federal Atomic Safety and Licensing Board will open the hearing at 10 a.m. Aug. 28 at the Hotel Alex Johnson, 523 6th St, Rapid City, SD . The hearing will continue as necessary through 5 p.m. Aug. 30. The hearing is part of the long-running regulatory review of a proposed uranium mine near Edgemont, SD

A critical hearing will take place in Rapid City, at the Alex Johnson Hotel, starting on August 28, 2019, and probably continuing through the 30th.  People are encouraged to attend and show that we oppose the possibility of uranium mining returning to the Black Hills and demand protection of cultural resources!

There are important issues at stake in this hearing.  These focus on the protection of the historical and cultural resources of the Lakota people.  Powertech Uranium (the company that wants to mine, whose parent company is Azarga Uranium) could destroy these resources by mining over the 10,000-acre project area without doing a proper cultural resources survey.  The federal government’s Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) staff and the company don’t want to follow tribal protocols for cultural resources protection and are trying to go ahead without even surveying for those resources.

The hearing will be before the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board (ASLB), which is made up of administrative judges who are affiliated with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.  In 2014, the ASLB issued a license to Powertech Uranium to handle radioactive materials from uranium mining – before a hearing was held on the subject.  This is the only permit that Powertech has received in 10 years of trying.  The company would need 10+ permits to begin mining, so it’s critical that we oppose the possibility of allowing this license to remain in place when the destruction of Lakota cultural resources could occur.

The proposed mining area is located in Fall River and Custer Counties on the southwest edge of the Black Hills.  This is at the center of the lands promised to the Lakota in the 1851 and 1868 Fort Laramie Treaties.  The company wants to do ‘in situ’ uranium mining and then inject its wastes – both of which would destroy groundwater.

The hearing will take place at the Alex Johnson Hotel, 523 – 6th Street, likely starting at 9:00 am and running until about 5:00 pm, with a lunch break.  There will be testimony on cultural resources, the need to continue to work toward protection of those resources, and related topics.  The ASLB has said that people should be prepared to be searched as they enter the hearing, and that no signs, banners, or weapons will be allowed inside the hearing room.

Please attend the hearing on as many days and for as long as you can!  The public will not be allowed to speak, but our presence will speak loudly to the ASLB judges!