LETTER: Uranium mining in South Dakota not wise
To the Editor:
Throughout the west, uranium mining is wreaking havoc on water resources, leaving citizens faced with major water crises and economic downturn.
Exemptions and relaxing of standards by government are repeatedly granted to the mining companies at the expense of communities and ranchers who are faced with an unfixable problem.
In a recent Rapid City Journal forum article, Powertech CEO Dick Clements stated that uranium mining is "intrinsically safe." How interesting, since no ISL (in situ leach) mines have ever remediated water back to baseline.
A review of the literature reveals a drastically different picture from what Clements, who doesn't live in South Dakota, paints. He claims only a 170 gal/min will be used from the Inyan Kara when the permit states 8,500 gal/min -- slightly different.
They ask for 551 gal/min from the Madison, our main drinking source, which is already drawn down due to drought and population explosion. Make no mistake, uranium mining is neither safe nor innocuous. Clements' promises are empty words. Every company promises safety and the sky. Our water and resources are sold abroad, and after lining their pockets, they disappear. Teddy Roosevelt despised and warned citizens of these "malefactors of wealth."
What conditions and resources are we leaving for our children?