Protecting Water – RER Permits Needed.

Upton is located right in the Belle Fourche River-Beaver Creek drainage divide area, an important and unique area from which both southeast-oriented Cheyenne River tributaries and northwest-oriented Belle Fourche River tributaries flow. This means that any toxic contamination from the demonstration plant would spill into two important Black Hills watersheds, with potentially widespread impacts downstream.

The Belle Fouche River is a tributary of the Cheyenne River, approximately 290 mi (467 km) long, in the U.S. states of Wyoming and South Dakota. Via the Cheyenne and Missouri rivers, it is part of the watershed of the Mississippi River. Source. dakotasearch.com

NOW – RER requires the following permits for their demonstration plant (as of December 2021):

  • Source materials license from the NRC. The company has not yet submitted this application.
  • Forest Service permit for transporting the 1000-ton sample from Bear Lodge. The company has submitted the application, and the Forest Service states the application review should be completed in February.
  • Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality air and water quality permits, which the company has not yet submitted. DEQ staff estimate that permit reviews would likely take less than 120 days.
  • State and federal permits for solid waste removal to an unnamed “licensed storage facility.”

This project would allow a statutory right, in accordance with the General Mining Law of 1872, as amended, for Rare Element Resources, Inc to develop a mine on federally administered lands in a manner consistent with other federal laws and regulations and the 1997 Revised Land and Resource Management Plan for the Black Hills National Forest, as Amended by the Phase II Amendment (Forest Plan). Forest Service surface management regulations (36 Code of Federal Regulations [CFR] part 228) require that all mining activities “be conducted in a manner that minimizes adverse environmental impacts on National Forest surface resources” (36 CFR part 228.8). The Forest Service is therefore required to ensure that the Proposed Action is evaluated in accordance to the National Environmental Policy Act and 36 CFR part 228.

Below are 2014 documents on RER’s project.

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