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LETTER: Remember mining when election comes

To the Editor:

Are you aware of the potential problem of uranium mining in western South Dakota to the rest of the state? Presently there are over 200 abandoned uranium mines leaching radioactive debris into our rivers. Radioactive residue from these mines can be detected as far as Vermillion. So it is not just a West River problem.

Now we have Powertech/Azarga, a China-based investment company, wanting to take vast amounts of water from two major aquifers of the Southern Black Hills for in-situ mine leaching of uranium. Not only will they take the water from our ranchers who desperately need it during the drought, but contaminate it for any future use by the ranchers and surrounding communities. With the western states becoming dryer from prolonged drought, we cannot afford to waste clean water for the benefit of foreign countries. Our state government is allowing this. Our governor and Legislature have removed oversight and control over water usage in the southern Black Hills, thus allowing the mining companies to use up precious clean water, pollute it and then leave with no responsibility to clean the mess up. They are putting our livelihoods on the line. Remember this for the November elections.