THERE IS A REAL THREAT TO OUR WATER! NOW IS THE TIME TO HELP PREVENT TOXIC MINING FROM HAPPENING IN THE BLACK HILLS REGION!
Comments were provided to the Environmental Protection Agency on June 19, 2018 on the draft permits to:
- One is a UIC Class III Area Permit for injection wells for the ISR of uranium;
- The second is a UIC Class V Area Permit for deep injection wells that will be used to dispose of ISR process waste fluids into the Minnelusa Formation after treatment to meet radioactive waste and hazardous waste standards.
- The EPA is also proposing an aquifer exemption approval from the Safe Drinking Water Act in connection with the Class III Area Permit to exempt the uranium-bearing portions of the Inyan Kara Group aquifers. This would mean that the aquifer can be polluted and will never be used for drinking water in the future.
“The Madison and Minnelusa aquifers are two of the most important aquifers in the Black Hills area because of utilization for water supplies and important influences on surface-water resources resulting from large springs and stream-flow-loss zones.”
– United States Geological Survey: Geochemistry of the Madison and Minnelusa Aquifers in the Black Hills Area, South Dakota.
URANIUM MINING WOULD USE HUGE AMOUNTS OF OUR WATER
- The proposal for a uranium mine northwest of Edgemont would use huge amounts of water.
- Azarga/Powertech Uranium has asked the state for a permit to extract 551 gallons per minute from the Madison aquifer. They have also applied for a permit to extract 8,500 gallons per minute from the Inyan Kara formation.
- 9,000 gallons per minute equals 12,960,000 gallons per day. Multiply that by 365 days and then by a ten years, and this equals 47 billion gallons of our water. According to the company, the project may last as long as 20 years. 94 billion gallons of water, in a time of drought, for which they’d pay NOTHING.
- The company plans to drill two or more wells into the Madison aquifer and a total of 1,500 wells into the Inyan Kara. “Only” 1,000 wells would operate at any one time.
- According to the company, the project would consume (use up) 2.76 billion gallons of the water. This water would no longer be available to communities, ranches, and families.
- After it is used for mining, the water that is not consumed or left in the aquifer would be treated in one of two ways:
- The company prefers to pump it underground — into aquifers below the mining – where it would no longer be available to communities, ranches, and families.
- It could be sprayed on the ground. At other sites the spray created a build-up of toxic materials, including selenium.
- Much of the water would be used repeatedly, but it would be contaminated and would not be available for other uses. Our aquifer will never be the same.
- The federal government wants South Dakotans to pay for water from the Missouri River. We live in a semi-arid area, and droughts are a regular occurrence. If this project goes through, we will lose access to critical groundwater resources.
DON’T LET A FOREIGN CORPORATION USE AND POLLUTE OUR WATER – TAKE ACTION!
- ‘In situ’ leach uranium mining contaminates groundwater and surface water with radioactive materials and heavy metals – contamination that remains after mining ends, and that is
- dangerous to humans and livestock. Groundwater has never been returned to its original condition at any ‘in situ’ leach uranium mine in the United States.
- Powertech, a Canadian company, now owned by Azarga Uranium, has never mined uranium – or any other natural resource.
When our water is damaged, there may be no recourse against a foreign company.
- Talk to your neighbors and legislators, or write a letter to the editor.
- Call Governor Dennis Daugaard (605-773-3212) and members of Congress now.
- Send in your public comment.