Dakota Rural Action lauds the SD Dept. of Agriculture & Natural Resources on their strong response in opposition to moving forward on water permit proceedings for the proposed Powertech In Situ Leach (ISL) uranium mine in Southwestern South Dakota.

In 2013, the Water Management Board (WMB) put those proceedings on hold while Powertech attempted to secure their federal permits for the project. In the waning days of the Trump Administration, Powertech was granted those permits from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), but all of those permits are being challenged and/or reviewed. In other words, they’re nowhere near finalized.

In response to Powertech’s motion to re-start the state proceedings, Anne Mines Bailey, counsel for DANR Water Rights Program, wrote a ten-page objection to a resumption of the process to the Water Management Board. You can read that objection here.

TWO actions you can take to help halt this toxic project:

  • Email the Water Management Board and ask them to continue the hold on permit proceedings for Powertech’s ISL uranium mine. You can keep it simple, or reference parts of the DANR’s objection linked to above.
  • Sign the petition to the EPA to claw back Powertech’s permits, which did not include adequate Tribal Consultation or cultural resource survey of the site.

Powertech Uranium, a Canadian company, now known as Azarga Uranium, seeks three state permits and federal licensing to build the first ever ISL uranium mine and processing plant in Custer & Fall River Counties in Southwestern South Dakota.

They propose taking vast amounts of water out of the ground, mixing it with chemicals, then injecting it back into the ground to dissolve and extract the uranium, then concentrating the radioactive material (yellow cake) on-site for shipping by truck. And then they want to take the wastewater and inject it back into the Inyan Kara aquifer. Learn more about the history and risks of the project by visiting our Uranium Issues page HERE.