Powertech is trying to move forward with their Dewey-Burdock In Situ Leach (ISL) Uranium Mining Project located in Custer & Fall River Counties. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has recently issued a Plan of Operations (POO) for the BLM land that is involved in the project and is taking public comment RIGHT NOW.

Because of the federal administration’s new “fast track” policy, we have only until August 26th to submit as many comments as possible on this latest effort to destroy the water and land in Southwest South Dakota and beyond. 

For comment ideas and more information on the potentially permanent toxic impacts of in situ leach uranium mining, read on.

Submit Your Comment Now:


Comments may also be mailed to: BLM South Dakota Field Office, Attn: Ms. Chip Kimball, 309 Bonanza Street, Belle Fourche, SD  57717.  

You do not have to be an “expert” to comment. 

You do not need to live in the immediately affected counties, or even in South Dakota. You can submit multiple comments (for instance, if you think of something more to say later). 

The most important thing to do is tell the BLM you don’t approve of Powertech’s plan.
And to SHARE this information with friends and family and encourage them to comment as well. 
If you’re on Facebook, feel free to share our “event” page HERE.

Here are some ideas for comments

Hint: don’t just copy the list, but pick one or two and make it personal–say why YOU are against this project:

  • There has been NO cultural resources survey of the proposed uranium mining site.
  • There has been NO government to government consultation by BLM with affected Tribes that have cultural resources, including burials and ceremonial sites, at the site.
  • The BLM has NOT addressed the fact that no in-situ leach uranium mine has ever restored the impacted aquifers to pre-mining conditions.
  • The BLM has NOT located or analyzed the thousands of unconfined historic bole holes on the site that can lead to cross contamination of aquifers.
  • The BLM has NOT located or analyzed the geologic faults and fissures that can lead to cross contamination of the aquifers.
  • The BLM has NOT analyzed the radioactive waste disposal plans for the mine.
  • The BLM’s process for this application does NOT satisfy the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)

Submit Your Comment at the Link Below:


Explainer: What is “In Situ Leach” (ISL) Uranium Mining?

In Situ Leach mining (ISL) is a method of uranium mining where hundreds of wells are drilled in a “grid pattern” over an ore body that is located in a groundwater aquifer. Water mixed with sodium bicarbonate concentrate is pumped down into the aquifer, across the uranium ore bed, and then up and out other wells. The mining solution is injected into the aquifer under pressure in order to leach the uranium out of the ground. The leach solution strips the uranium out of the aquifer. Along with radioactive uranium, arsenic, selenium, radium and lead are also extracted.

ISL uranium mining must be done directly in a water-bearing aquifer. Drinking water comes from water-bearing aquifers. Water at an In Situ Leach uranium mine has never been returned to its original condition. Pollutants that have been left in the water at ISL uranium mines after “restoration” include toxic heavy metals and radioactive materials.

Current, modern, operating In Situ Leach mines have spilled and leaked hundreds of thousands of gallons of contaminated water, both above ground and underground. This contaminated water has entered both above-ground and underground water bodies.

Attempts at “cleaning” the water from the contamination caused by ISL mining is the most expensive part of in situ mining. That, along with company-friendly agencies are why we have hundreds of unreclaimed uranium mines in the Black Hills from operations in past decades, when companies took their profits and left us with their mess. 

It’s also why there are thousands of exploration drilling holes from the 1970s in the area and aquifers Powertech wants to mine, many of which are improperly plugged (reclaimed) and thereby contributing to the intermixing of the Fall River and Lakota aquifers. Note that the BLM has NOT located or analyzed the thousands of unconfined historic bole holes on the proposed  site that can lead to cross contamination of aquifers.

Learn more about the hazards of In Situ Leach Uranium Mining and Powertech’s plan at: BHCleanWaterAlliance.org

Submit YOUR comments on this threat to our water TODAY:


To view the full 2,775-page Dewey-Burdock Plan of Operations, click HERE.

THANK YOU for Taking Action!