Update 10:27 MDT: Intervenors get that snow day! The Water Management Board got together this morning in Rapid City, joined by a couple dozen Powertech opponents and even some brave souls from Edgemont who want the uranium mine, but decided that the right thing to do was to move the first week of the hearing to the last week of October. Now everyone head back home to help the neighbors shovel.
Original Post 08:00 MDT: It is noble that South Dakotans find a way to soldier on amidst adversity. The state Water Management Board soldiers on this morning with the opening of its water permit hearing for the Powertech uranium mine. Board members can probably get to the Best Western Ramkota, just off I-90, which was only opened yesterday. (No one is flying in: Gary Ellenbolt says on SDPB that the Rapid City Regional Airport is just finishing shoveling out and is reopening for 8 a.m. flights.) But the big October blizzard will prevent lots of intervenors from Rapid City and the Hills from getting to this important meeting:
...at least one opponent to the project is dismayed the hearings are going forward.
"This is totally absurd," said Rebecca Leas, one of the opponents formally contesting the proposal.
"We can't even get out in our street," said Leas, who lives off of Sheridan Lake Road. "They're not even plowing and half the people don't even have power yet" [Joe O'Sullivan, "Powertech Water Permit Hearing Still Set for Today," Rapid City Journal, 2013.10.07].
Government marches on... but government also serves the people. When local services are busy hauling trapped patients to ambulances on sleds, when West River Electric has a thousand snapped power poles to replace, the state Water Management Board may need to cut intervenors some slack and extend the time they will accept testimony.