LETTER: Beware of ‘water wars’ in SDGiant profits are made removing and selling our resources while the toxic messes and liability are left to the taxpayers.
By: Rebecca R. Leas, Ph.D., Rapid City
To the Editor:
How deep is your well? The giant resource giveaway via the outdated 1872 Mining Law allows companies (especially foreign) to remove our resources (uranium, gold, silver, copper) for free.
Yes, folks — for free. Giant profits are made removing and selling our resources while the toxic messes and liability are left to the taxpayers.
Abandoned and contaminated mines ruin our groundwater, streams and aquifers and have caused escalated disease, health care costs and loss of life to humans and wildlife.
While our parks and campgrounds are closing, these companies are gobbling up our public lands, resources and water. When will Americans wake up and demand Congress change this absurd 140-year-old law?
Water is our most precious and important nutrient. Powertech Uranium is trying to mine in the Black Hills and in the process wants to claim ownership of more than 90 billion gallons of our life-preserving water for 20 years.
Worse, they plan to use our good Madison water to clean their toxic wastewater, which will still be non-potable.
Western South Dakota’s heartbeat is its water. What are you willing to pay for water? Will your well go dry?
Will Powertech pay for everyone’s lost water? Where other cases like this have occurred, mining companies supply water for a short while and then wave “adios.” They also sell their companies like musical chairs, leaving all promises about water null and void. Beware: water wars are coming to a neighborhood near you.
Dr. Rebecca R. Leas, Ph.D. is a health education specialist.