Last week the Rapid City Council voted to draft a resolution expressing the city's official opposition to Powertech's proposed uranium in-situ leach mining project in the southern Black Hills. They initially kicked that task to the Public Works Committee, which met today at 12:30 p.m. MDT.
However, the city moved responsibility for drafting this controversial resolution to the Legal and Finance Committee, which takes up the uranium mining resolution as item #5 on its Wednesday, August 14 agenda. Item #5 is open to public comment, and my inbox is abuzz with locals eager to fill the meeting room at the Admin Center on 6th street tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. to make sure Powertech officials don't sneak in and fill the councillors' ears with unchecked industry propaganda.
If Legal and Finance approves the resolution, it goes to the full city council next week Monday, August 19.
Hot Springs author and advocate of rustic living Mary Goulet is among the many Black Hills residents hoping the Rapid City Council will choose the environment and tourism over the false promises of Canadian miners and Chinese investors. Goulet sends me her call to action against Powertech:
Why do some people short-change the future and their children’ health for the possibility of temporary, monetary gains? Research shows that in-situ uranium mining will contaminate aquifers and lower our water levels. Water is life for our cattle, wildlife and us. Ranchers cannot continue to operate with contaminated water, tourists will stop visiting our beautiful Black Hills and retirees will look for safer areas to live.
The future of these Black Hills will be up to you. Many of our politicians have already opted for short-term “economic development”, causing permanent loss of our aquifers. You are the voters. You have the power. If you are concerned, call the governor at 605-773-3212, write a letter, call your representatives in Pierre. Attend a meeting in Rapid City when Powertech Uranium Corporation will seek large scale mining and water rights permits.
Two hearings are coming up in Rapid City. Please attend one or both at the Ramkota at 8:30 am on 9/23/13 and 10/7/13 (information at bhcleanwateralliance.org). Our representatives should know that they represent many who oppose this uranium mining. Don’t be part of the silent majority. Take action. If you hesitate we could lose our most precious resource – our pure water.
[Mary Goulet, letter to the editor, Hot Springs, South Dakota, 2013.08.11]
Let's hope Rapid City joins Goulet and her neighbors in opposing the risky Powertech project.